|Soft Landings provides a focus
for what's happening in the seaplane world.
19 October) - Biofarm
Inc. announce that they are the new
owners of Britten Norman Ltd., the UK aircraft
manufacturer of the BN Islander range of aircraft
which reknowned aircraft designer David Thurston
has developed an amphibian conversion.
2 September) - Fromer Chief Executive Officer of
Pilatus Britten Norman, Walter Stark, who was
appointed joint managing director of Britten
Norman by new owners Litchfield Continental, has
resigned from the company from 4 September.
1 September) - Rumours abound that the Renault
diesel aero engine has run into trouble with
crucial technical difficulties still to be
overcome. Questions of horsepower and weight have
been mentioned. Renault are now considering the
future of the programme.
21 July) Swiss paper Neue Zurcher Zeitung reports
that Oerlikon Buhrle Holding signed an agreement
on 16 July 98 to sell the Pilatus Aircraft
subsidiary, Pilatus Britten Norman to Litchfield Continental
Limited. The report reveals that the PBN
results have been in the red for a number of
years. Pilatus Britten Norman had 141 employees
in 1997 and contibuted just 7% to the 335 million
franc turnover of Pilatus Aircraft.
16 April) German company Equator
Aircraft are now soliciting for aircraft
orders and finance. The company is offering
shares at $10 per share with a minimum of
300 bears a striking resemblance to
the Air Shark but has been designed as a modula
platform that will allow further enhancement and
new model spin offs.
28 January) Michael Zoche reports that he has now
cleared all the certification path hurdles and
has agreed the testing programme for his
innovative aerodiesel with the German and US
authorities. Zoche is quoting year 2000 before
engines will be available.
28 January) Reports from Paris suggest that the
new Renault diesel is exceeding all expectations.
The 150 hp engine continues to perform well in
the test cell although no reason was given for
the delay in the test flying programme.
second prototype Beriev Be103 is flying after the
fatal crash of number 1 back in August. The
official investigation into the crash is still to
publish its report.
13 October) - Indications suggest that the new
Renault Aero Diesel is running behind the
development schedule - everyone at the factory is
remaining tight lipped as to when the first
flight will take place. The latest information is
that the diesel will fly near Paris at the end of
engineers at Renault are now coming to realise
that it is just not a matter of installing a very
good automobile engine in an airframe to get a
very good aircraft engine. Now that Renault are
ending their successful involvement in Formula 1
motor racing, plans are afoot to switch the Grand
Prix team onto the new challenge of aviation
they are as successful as they were in the world
of motor racing then Renault and Europe will be a