Blog about aviation & marketing

The Icon5 – can it make it into the marketplace?

Airplane Business 2 Comments

So here we are, after the concept, the design and engineering that goes into building a prototype, ironing out any bad tendencies during development, it is now time to manufacture.  From the initial prototype that was finished in 2008, we have another eight years of updates and development to bring the airplane to market.  All things considered, eight years is a long time, the worlds fastest airplane was designed and built in 26 months by Lockheed Skunkworks. This leads to my question – will the A5 survive the marketplace.  Time is money, lets explore the realities of aircraft design! Read More

Flight Schools – Why the profit motive is so important

Flight Training 3 Comments

I subscribe to the AOPA Flight Training Magazine, the on-line edition.  This magazine has been around for a while, it teaches flight schools good operating practices, and other flight instruction related techniques.  Recently I received the latest copy about proper management of a customer base, and realized if you don’t get this, there is a reason you aren’t in business. I don’t have the direct link, since I had received it a while back, but the concept kept floating in my head as to the REAL problem in aviation – too bad it took 25 years for everyone else to figure this concept out, since it is quite common in other business sectors!  https://www.aopa.org/membership/aopa-digital-editions Read More

Privatizing the Air Traffic Control system – why this is a good idea!

Aviation Thoughts 2 Comments

Not to sound like a Trump fan…try looking at it as a view from my side as to how Capitalism saved the planet.  For those who went to public schools, I challenge you to do some research on Capitalism, it is truly the mechanism for creating wealth, equality, and opportunity.  But I digress.  Privatizing the ATC system will benefit the airlines, general aviation, the general public, because it will expedite the integration of technology and innovation into a system that is outdated.  I will quickly reference the Flight Service Station evolution, and how the personal computer has solved the problems of weather briefings, and how much better the system actually works. Read More

General Aviation Forecast 2017

Airplane Business 5 Comments

With the election over, it is time to take a look at what the new administration is going to set for the business of general aviation.  Typically I won’t spend time on something like this, but this new administration brings to the table a lot more business related experience, along with being successful at running a business – unlike a politician who, for the most part, doesn’t know how to run anything at all.  Am I a Trumpster?  I would have to admit that I like his approach as being an outsider, and I am not alone.  Whether you want to admit it or not, America voted for Donald Trump regardless of popular vote Vs. Electoral College numbers.  So what can we expect?  I think we are in for an economy that is going to grow at a pace not seen in many decades, which will benefit general aviation significantly.  Along with less regulation, the guy gets it, business needs to be able to use capital to bring new products to the market, so lets look at how this is going to work. Read More

Cheap Flying Fun!

Aviation Thoughts 9 Comments

Recently I was carousing around on YouTube, looking at some EAA Airventure videos from this year, and happened upon a video about a trip to Alaska from a small airstrip near Dayton OH.  This video was taken in 1960 on 8 mm film, and converted to a digital format, so the quality is a little less than today’s standards, but still quite good.  As I watched the video’s, there are two of them, I couldn’t help but think about how much fun that trip was as a lifetime memory!  AND it proved you don’t need a pressurized twin to make the trip, and have fun. Read More

The future light twin for General Aviation – it is this type of thinking that we need more of!

Aviation Thoughts 2 Comments

I recently was reading in Aviation International News (http://www.ainonline.com/), about a concept business airplane that would be part hovercraft, part corporate King Air with ducted fan technology. The airplane concept is seeking funding, and if you would have an interest in being a part of the development, just visit here – http://www.xtiaircraft.com/trifan-600/ The problem is, the reality just isn’t here in my opinion, as VTOL aircraft have been in the dreams of many, only to find that you just can’t make a practical VTOL airplane to work.  The required thrust is such that even a very efficient turbine engine isn’t going to give you the capability to make it work.  But…there are some ideas out there that SHOULD be sought after, that have real possibilities and can be put into production.  Lets take a look at this! Read More

No matter how much you love airplanes, business is still about selling the product!

Airplane Business 5 Comments

Working with flight schools has taught me one thing about aviation, and that is most of these small business entities don’t understand the simple fundamentals of building a profitable business.  Most completely IGNORE the fundamentals, and are so simplistic in the approach, they just can’t understand why they are failing.  In fact, when AOPA tries to figure out the 80% + washout rate of student pilots, they attribute it to FAA regulations being too cumbersome.  How naive this is, when the reality is – the industry if full of engineers and highly skilled people, what it truly lacks is someone with SALES SKILLS!  Hello! Read More

The business cycle and general aviation

Aviation Thoughts 52 Comments

How is the economy?  There are so many sources available, each putting more weight on one category over the other.  Nonetheless, as far as general aviation aircraft deliveries go, according to GAMA figures it was down approximately 4.5% in the first half of the year.  Most of these deliveries involved the larger global fleet that has satisfied demand for growth in the world…needing to get places that are flights of long distance.  Now that demand has slowed for the global jet market, what is the future for general aviation in the next 18 months?  We can look at recreational flying and conclude that it will be relatively flat, which is a good news/bad news scenario, but the real big number I want to focus on is this –  Corporate spending on equipment, structures and intellectual property decreased an annualized 2.2% after a 3.4% fall in the first quarter.  How does this affect general aviation? Read more to find out how business use of the airplane is what drives this industry. Read More

Selling new airplanes – maybe we need a better business model

Airplane Business 3 Comments

The price of a new airplane is very expensive, seemingly getting more and more out of reach as volume stays consistent.  Airplanes have always been expensive, they are hand built and the market is relatively small, so to stay in business, you have to price the product to cover expenses and to make a profit.  I get that!  However, what I have noticed about most aviation manufacturers, is that they simply want to sell you a new airplane…if you show up with the dough to buy one.  Some manufacturers will discount the airplane as an enticement, but that can only take you so far in the road to the sale.  What is severely lacking in this industry, is an aggressive sales approach to double the unit sales AND to sell as many airplanes as possible.  It seems the industry takes the stance that “this is aviation” therefore this is the way we do things.  I 100% believe that is why the manufacturers are declining in new production airplanes AND they are not maximizing their potential! Read More

So you want to start your own airplane company – a few thoughts

Airplane Business 5 Comments

Will general aviation ever see another upstart aircraft manufacturer, or is building and certifying a new airplane just too complex for reality?  It used to be easier to certify a new airplane design, which brought about many new designs and choices into the single and multi-engine piston market. Some of these include the Wing Derringer two place twin engine airplane, the Mooney M-22 Mustang, the first piston single airplane that was pressurized, and as another example, the Grumman American single engine airplane line, that was actually quite successful.  Since the mid 1980’s, there have been several attempts to bring a new airplane to the market, such as the Adams 500 centerline thrust twin, the Eclipse 500, with design attempts to certify single engine jets like the VisionAir Vantage jet.  Each one of these design prospects brought an interesting design element, however, none of them sold very well.  Lets look at two successful designs, and find the elements that make an aviation manufacturer a possibility for long term viability. Read More