July 29th, 2014
Cessna Aircraft Company announced the successful maiden flight of the first production unit of the Citation CJ3+ from the company’s manufacturing facility adjacent to Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, Kansas. Mark Tuttle, production flight test pilot, said all systems performed as expected during the 73 min. flight.
The new aircraft was first announced on March 20 of this year, and Federal Aviation Administration certification is expected this year.
“Response to the CJ3+ has been excellent; customers recognize the value proposition of the airplane with its Garmin G3000 flight deck along with upgraded interiors and systems throughout,” said Chris Hearne, vice president, Jets. “The CJ3+ is engineered for superior reliability without sacrificing efficiency and comfort, and is offered with best-in-class acquisition and direct operating costs.”
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Andrew Taylor, executive chairman of Enterprise Holdings and an advocate for business aviation, will be a featured opening-session speaker at this year’s NBAA Convention, which will be held from October 21 to 23 in Orlando, Fla.
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Though second-quarter revenues and profits dipped slightly at Gulfstream Aerospace, the Savannah, Ga.-based aircraft manufacturer still recorded a “strong” quarter, Phebe Novakovic, chairman and CEO at parent company General Dynamics, said yesterday during an investor conference call. Revenues at the aerospace division, which also includes Jet Aviation, came in at $1.995 billion during the quarter, down from $2.053 billion a year ago. Year-over-year profits slid only by $5 million, to $384 million, thanks to higher margins that were primarily the result of continuing efficiencies in G650 production.
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Raisbeck Engineering received FAA STC approval on Friday for its Learjet 60 aft fuselage locker. It will now be available for purchase and installation at all Raisbeck-authorized dealer locations. Final certification flights were completed in March. Development of the aft fuselage locker-which weighs 276 pounds and adds 28 cu ft of storage space-began in June 2008, with the confirmation of technical cooperation between Raisbeck and Bombardier Learjet.
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July 18th, 2014
Following closely behind its recent FAA certification, the Cessna Citation X+, the world’s fastest business jet, completed its first trans-Atlantic crossing in a normal business flight profile in 5 hours, 33 minutes for an average ground speed of 502 knots. Cessna is a subsidiary of Textron Aviation, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company.
“We filed a fairly standard flight plan to demonstrate the capability a customer can expect in normal operations, and it was very impressive,” said Kriya Shortt, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing for Textron Aviation. “While the operator will realize a huge benefit from the Citation X+ during shorter cross-country flights, long flights like this is where it really shines.”
The Citation X+ flew from the Cessna factory in Wichita, KS to Presque Isle, Maine, then 2,788 nautical miles non-stop to Cessna’s facility at Paris Le Bourget for an event. The Citation X+ then completed its journey at TAG Farnborough Airport. For the trans-Atlantic leg, the aircraft made a direct climb to 45,000 feet, accelerating to an initial cruise speed of .86 Mach, then to .88 Mach for much of the flight to Paris.
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Confidence in China’s rapid business aviation growth is showing signs of weakening, as the country’s inherent issues show little sign of any short term fixes
The pace at which business aviation in China is growing is starting to be questioned; as the government’s tight control of its airspace shows little sign of loosening.
Although the country has been slowly experimenting with opening its airspace up, with small scale trials starting in Changchun and Guangzhou at the end of 2010, progress has been frustratingly slow, and is seen as one of the main barriers to the explosive growth rates predicted for the country.
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To wander the Farnborough airfield during trade show week is to be dwarfed by the big beasts of global aviation, from the epic Dreamliners to the needle-sharp fighter jets, and all for sale.
But with even the cheapest models costing many millions of dollars, is there any prospect that owning an aircraft could follow computers and cars in becoming affordable to the masses?
The figures indicate otherwise. Private jet sales slowed to a crawl following the global recession, falling 3.4% to 682 in 2012 in the U.S. and rising just 0.9% the following year.
Even this minor growth has been concentrated at the top end of the market, with sales contracting toward the lower end. Bombardier airline President Eric Martel was candid about the prospect of an upturn, saying Monday: “It’s no secret the light segment has been difficult over the last couple of years.”
An enthusiast could still fulfill their dream through a fixed kit plane, or a discontinued antique. But looking ahead, their best bet might be the emerging field of the car-plane hybrid.
This week at the Farnborough International Airshow, Parajet is showcasing the SkyRunner to potential aviation distributors with a price tag of $80,000.
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Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, said today at the Farnborough International Airshow that the entire product range of Beechcraft and Cessna products are available in special mission configurations. All 20 current production aircraft – including a Special Mission Beechcraft King Air 350ER on display this week in Farnborough, U.K. – fit numerous mission profiles, including aerial survey, air ambulance, flight inspection, aerial surveillance, training and utility transport.
“With the combination of the Beechcraft and Cessna products within Textron Aviation, we now offer the largest proposition of special mission platforms in the industry,” said Dan Keady, vice president, Special Missions. “We have seen a significant growth in special mission activity around the globe and anticipate this market will continue to grow across our aircraft platforms. From our piston-engine Beechcraft and Cessna products up to the largest Citation business jets, we are able to offer our customers an aircraft to fit just about any mission requirement.”
The Beechcraft products, particularly the King Air turboprops, are utilized around the globe in a number of services including air ambulance, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), maritime patrol and pilot training, while the Cessna product line lends itself to multiple special mission roles from piston trainers, to the multi-purposed Caravan operating in an air ambulance, cargo, parachute and float plane platforms. The Citation jets are also used in training, flight inspection and air ambulance roles throughout the world.
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July 16th, 2014
In the world of business aviation, observers will be excused if they find it difficult to keep up with original equipment manufacturers’ product-performance claims. So rapidly are new and improved models being introduced that what may pass for accurate brand marketing one quarter may be outdated the next.
In that vein, observers are advised to keep a close watch on the market reception of the Challenger 350, the latest version of Bombardier’s best-selling Challenger 300 super-midsize business jet. Operators had long sought capability improvements, and Bombardier delivered in a big way.
The $26.5-million jet, which recently received type certificate approval from Transport Canada, is quite the step up
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Cessna completed the first trans-Atlantic flight with its newly certified Citation X+ business jet. En route to the Farnborough Airshow, the trip lasted five hours and 33 minutes and spanned 2,788 nautical miles between the Cessna factory in Wichita, Kan., and the company’s facility at Paris Le Bourget airport prior to making the trip to TAG Farnborough Airport. During the trans-Atlantic portion of the flight, the Citation X+ climbed to 45,000 feet and accelerated to a cruise speed of .86 Mach.
“We filed a fairly standard flight plan to demonstrate the capability a customer can expect in normal operations, and it was very impressive,” said Kriya Shortt, senior vice president, sales and marketing for Textron Aviation. “While the operator will realize a huge benefit from the Citation X+ during shorter cross-country flights, long flights like this is where it really shines.”
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One year after launching the re-engined E-Jet E2 family at the Paris air show, Embraer is putting the programme at the heart of its Farnborough presence.
The airframer’s E2 strategy at the show is two-pronged, says chief executive Frederico Curado. The firm wants to keep increasing its backlog of the current-generation E-Jet to bridge to the new model, while also highlighting the development of the E2.
“It’s a major development for us,” he says. “It’s not just a re-engining, but a major improvement of the aircraft, including new wings.”
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July 14th, 2014
The private jets were stacking up on Rio de Janeiro’s runways as bold-face names from Shakira to Russian President Vladimir Putin drop by for the World Cup final between Argentina and Germany.
More than 900 executive jets are expected to pass through Rio de Janeiro three main airports between July 11 and July 14th
Brazil President Dilma Rousseff will host Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, along with other heads of states, at a luncheon today at Guanabara Palace before heading to Maracana Stadium to watch the 4 p.m. match.
FIFA, soccer’s governing body, expects a worldwide viewing audience of more than 1 billion.
Among the 75,000 at the stadium, the smattering of celebrities includes Shakira, who will perform at the World Cup’s closing ceremony. She’s expected to be joined in the stands by supermodel Gisele Bundchen, fellow chanteuse Rihanna and U.K. chef Jamie Oliver.
South African President Jacob Zuma and German President Joachim Gauck will represent the political end of spectrum. Among business types, Carlos Brito, the Rio-born chief executive officer of beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, and Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP Plc, the world’s biggest advertising agency, are expected to attend.
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