Episode 68. Business aviation trends and new technology, with Brian Foley

Brian FoleyHow much of the recent boom in private aviation will last now that the pandemic is over? Aviation analyst Brian Foley says about 10%, which is good for the industry but not enough to sustain some overly optimistic business models. In this episode, he talks about the current state of the market, the fate of Wheels Up, and Cirrus Aircraft’s plan to go public. Brian is also getting current as a pilot after 15 years, and he offers some realistic advice for other rusty pilots. In the Ready to Copy segment, Brian shares his famously blunt opinion about Sustainable Aviation Fuel, electric airplanes, hydrogen power, and the best-looking Falcon jets.


  • Current state of the market: “Overall the business aviation industry is going gangbusters right now.”
  • Why private aviation can only grow so much: “We’re not a mass transportation system… there are limits to how many people you can take.”
  • How much growth will last: “I estimate that the business aviation industry got about a 10% jolt that will always be there.”
  • Why some aviation startups are running out of money: "What investors lack sometimes is the knowledge of just how long and how regulated aviation is, and it's not going to be a quick return."
  • Rusty pilot tips: "I encourage you not to rush it or jump into something you're not prepared to do right."
  • Learning new avionics: "Don't feel you have to learn a Garmin GPS, every single function and easter egg that's buried in there. Just learn how to push direct."
  • Pilot hiring trends: "Those that are pursuing flight training, I encourage you to keep going full speed and there will be a very attractive job for you at the end of it."
  • Sustainable Aviation Fuel: "I gotta say, SAF is half-empty. It's a long way from becoming a reality to be made in the kind of volume that's needed."
  • Electric airplanes: "That's exactly where electric will start and makes the most sense—in the flight school environment."
  • eVTOL companies: "We'll see a day of reckoning. The thing is, some of these programs may have folded up already but you're not going to know. They're not gonna put out a press release."

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