Sunday, March 23, 2008

FAA History Lesson -- March 23

From the FAA Historical Chronology, 1926-1996...

”Mar 23, 1962: FAA type-certificated North American Aviation's Sabreliner (Model 265), an executive type jet aircraft. It thus became the first executive-type aircraft with twin turbojet engines to be designed, developed, and certificated in the United States. “

I was reading some piece on aviation the other day and the author was saying that business aviation wasn’t really a factor in air traffic control until the 80’s or the 90’s. That was news to me. The Jetstar came out even earlier than the Saberliner.

”Aug 28, 1961: FAA issued type and production certificates for the Lockheed Model 1329 JetStar, powered by four Pratt & Whitney JT12A-6 engines. The JetStar was the first four-engine turbojet executive-type transport designed and developed in the United States to be certificated. “

And the Learjet was right behind them.

”Oct 7, 1963: The Learjet 23 made its initial flight. FAA certificated the twin-engine executive aircraft in July of the following year, and the company made its first delivery in October. The success of Model 23 and later Learjets helped to popularize corporate jet transportation.“

I find it very odd how we used to value this industry, and now, it too seems to be slipping from our grasp. Corporate jets are now being built by Brazil, Canada and, soon, Japan. Cessna will manufacture it’s SkyCatcher -- a “light sport aircraft” in China.

Factor in all the conventional wisdom you’ve heard about expensive labor, exporting jobs and fair trade. See if any of it makes sense to you. Japan has a skilled workforce but they’ll manufacture their jet here in the States. China isn’t known for its high-tech workforce but an American company (Cessna) will export its jobs there. Brazil isn’t even on most American’s radar scope but has been quietly invading our market for years. If you clicked on the link above, I assume you noticed the Bombardier bought the Learjet. If you want to read something that doesn’t jibe with conventional wisdom, read about Bombardier.

Don Brown
March 23, 2008

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