Prineville home to flying car business

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Samson Motors set up business at the Prineville/Crook County Airport. The company's prototype is called the Switchblade, an experimental aircraft that is designed to drive from an owner's garage to a local airport.

“I think it’s great for everybody,” commented Prineville/Crook County Airport Manager Kelly Coffelt. “It’s great for them, and it’s great for the airport. They have been involved in the things that I have going on up here — so they are very supportive of the airport and what we’re doing here. As time goes, I think it’s going to be great for not only the airport, but the community, also.”

The prototype, called the Switchblade, has extendable wings and tail, and the wings fold in and are protected by clamshell doors. It has dual ground/air lighting systems, and runs on regular unleaded gasoline. Bousfield explained that because it is also an automobile, it must use unleaded fuel. The same fuel is used for the aircraft. The Switchblade will fly up to 200 mph and 10,000 feet in altitude. The wingspan is 24 feet. The top speed on ground is more than 100-miles-per-hour, and the gas mileage when driving is 45 mpg.

Read more at The Central Oregonian.

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Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. 

Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

— Linda


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