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La Bella Macchina at PBI is a growing success

This year the range of antique and new Ferraris was exceptional. Guests were free to inspect any car inside and out.

A winter classic event for aviation and classic car enthusiasts, the Jet Aviation-sponsored La Bella Macchina marked its 13th year at PBI on Jan 24 under cloudless skies. Large and supermidsize-cabin OEMs Bombardier, Dassault, Embraer and Gulfstream brought numerous aircraft for static display, and more than 55 vintage and newer Ferraris were displayed. This coincided with the week-long Cavallino Classic convention, held at the nearby Breakers Palm Beach.

Heavy-iron OEMs see La Bella Macchina as a showcase for their products, and the display grows annually. The vintage DC3 was a bonus, complete with crew in period costume.

Inside Jet Aviation's hangar at PBI Pilatus presented a PC12 NG and Piaggio had on display an Avanti II, alongside Bacardi and Penfolds, who kept the crowd well lubricated. In recent years La Bella Macchina has become so successful that Jet Aviation has put in place an invitation-only policy. Well over 1500 guests attended the event. —David Bjellos


Jet Aviation Singapore is building a new maintenance hangar adjacent to its current facilities in Seletar Aerospace Park at XSP (Seletar, Singapore), bringing the total hangar size to 80,700 sq ft. Scheduled for completion in 2014, the new facility will add 2 floors of shops and offices covering a gross area of 27,000 sq ft and include a battery, tire, upholstery and woodworking back shops, as well as 2 paint booths. New construction will also add approximately 100,000 sq ft to Jet Aviation's apron area at SIN (Changi, Singapore).

Atlantic Aero has added the Citation X to its repair station license. The company, which is owned by Greenwich AeroGroup, invested more than $150,000 on tooling, training and other related expenses to add the certification, although the company says it has a great deal of experience with the airframe, having provided customers with interior updates in the past.


Garmin has introduced a new high-performance, all-digital radar altimeter—the GRA 5500. Intended for transport, helicopter, business and general aviation aircraft, the new technology provides smooth altitude tracking over challenging environments like rough terrain, tree canopies, sand and choppy water. According to the company, the GRA 5500 meets the highest altitude accuracy standards yet seen in products for transport and military aircraft. The unit incorporates built-in self test monitors that cross check data and system integrity continuously to provide an accurate measurement of the height above ground. Garmin says that the GRA 5500 requires far fewer antenna cables than are traditionally needed and is easier to install and calibrate than other radar altimeters.


FlightSafety Intl's 1st Pilatus PC12 NG simulator has received Level D certification from FAA and Transport Canada. According to the company, the simulator will feature FlightSafety's electric motion and control loading system, which offers a high level of aircraft fidelity, enhanced performance, increased availability and lower life cycle costs compared to previous-generation devices. The simulator will also be equipped with FlightSafety's advanced VITAL X visual system which provides 200 x 40° field-of-view, features continuous global satellite high-resolution imagery, supports hundreds of "Six Degree of Freedom" fully articulated moving models, and is capable of presenting a wide variety of environmental conditions. The Pilatus PC12 NG simulator is equipped with the Honeywell Primus Apex avionics suite and incorporates synthetic vision. FlightSafety expects EASA certification for the simulator in the near future. Also announced was a Level D simulator for the Pilatus PC12/47 (Series 10), which the company intends to introduce into service by early 2014.


McDonough GA-based VanAllen Group has announced leadership changes. Founder Pete Agur has been appointed chairman, while Jeff Agur has been promoted to CEO. Joining the company is Don Henderson, who was previously director of aviation for KeyCorp. Hen­der­son is now VanAllen's managing director, consulting services.


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