Addison Schonland » AirInsight
A Commercial Aviation Consultancy

Addison Schonland

Norman Baker is President & Managing Executive of GE’s Business & General Aviation Turboprop business. He explains why GE is interested in the market and what their plans are for continuing to roll out new technologies.

Eric Rojek is Thrush Aircraft’s VP Sales.  He explained to us that the “ag aircraft” is an unusual asset.  Since, in the US, the market is predominately owner/operator, the demands of delivering an asset that performs is a primary focus for his company.  For example, how does an an aircraft operator survive on $7-$10 in revenue per acre treated?

The aircraft costs between $350-500 per hour to run.  Revenues are typically between $1,000 to $1,250 per hour.  A season for aerial companies is about 500 hours per year.  The aircraft generates between $2,000 to 4,000 per day.  The margins very tight.

To make things even more challenging, we are rapidly approaching what people here refer to as “precision ag”.  Aircraft will need real-time data feeds on the state of the crop, allowing each drop to be tailored to each part of each field.

In about ten minutes, National Agricultural Aviation Association Executive Director Andrew Moore explains how important this industry is.  It is also interesting to learn about how fragmented  this business is.  Where in aviation is the proverbial “Mom & Pop” still seen, much less prevalent?

Today UEC (Russia’s United Engine Corporation) announced they are starting the second phase of the PD-14 engine flight tests.  UEC claims the PD-14 is a fifth generation engine being developed for powering the MC-21 airliner. They also claim using up-to-date technologies and materials, including the composites. The PD-14 is the first completely new Russian aeroengine for the civil airliners in a very long time.  The test engine is seen here in the flight test aircraft.


UEC has built 11 test engines so far.  During 2015-2016 the first stage of the flight tests were successfully performed at the Flight Research Institute at Zhukovsky.  The second stage of the flight tests is planned to remove the “limitations regarding the engine’s thrust ratings and with provision for the high altitude engine starts”. The performance of the PD-14 engine will be tested at all speeds, altitudes and thrust ratings.

The inaugural Southeast Europe Aviation Summit (SEAS), the first high-level summit of its kind focused on regional growth and collaboration in the aviation sector in Southeast Europe, will be held in Belgrade from December 13-14, 2016, organizers announced.

SEAS is being hosted under the auspices of the Government of Republic of Serbia and patronage of its Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vucic, as well as the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Air Serbia, Sinisa Mali.

The region’s aviation industry will meet in Belgrade as SEAS hosts the most influential aviation officials and key industry leaders to offer insights and provide a forum for discussing regional modernization and expansion in this industry. The key note addresses include: H.E. Aleksandar Vucic, the Prime Minister of Serbia, James Hogan, President and CEO of Etihad Aviation Group with panel speakers Dane Kondic, CEO of Air Serbia, Michalis Kouveliotis, CFO of Aegean and over 25 C-level… Continue reading

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