For those who gaze into crystal balls and analyze the business jet market, there are heady days in store, according to recent industry prognostications. Honeywell Aerospace’s 21st annual business aviation market forecast predicts the industry can expect short-term record growth and delivery of more than 14,000 new business jets by 2017–numbers that reflect even more optimism than those the company released last year.
News and issues concerning aerospace companies, including formations, acquisitions, mergers and financials; and announcements of significant aircraft sales, delivery statistics and personnel appointments.
A soon-to-be-released very light jet forecast from PMI Media estimates that 7,650 VLJs, worth some $18.36 billion, will be delivered between 2007 and 2016. “We are predicting 2007 deliveries of VLJs to be around the 200 mark, up from our 2006 forecast of 175.
Forecast International yesterday released a prediction that 14,978 business jets, worth some $192 billion, will be manufactured between 2007 and 2016. The Connecticut-based market research firm estimates that very light jets will account for 39 percent, or 5,783, of business jet deliveries during the time frame.
In her final speech before the Washington Aero Club as FAA Administrator, Marion Blakey on Tuesday said that airline schedules “are at times out of line with reality” and if airlines don't voluntarily reduce flights they shouldn't be surprised if the government steps in. “Drawing down the schedule at Chicago was not my happiest hour, but it could come to that on the East Coast as well,” she confided.
Boeing now estimates that first flight of the 787 will happen sometime between mid-November and mid-December–at least three months later than originally planned–due to delays in coding flight-control software and completion of so-called “traveled work”–tasks originally meant for partners but passed on to Boeing’s final assembly facility in Everett, Wash.
Northrop Grumman now owns 100 percent of Mojave, Calif.-based Scaled Composites. On August 24, Northrop Grumman, which already owned 40 percent of Scaled, closed on the purchase of the remaining 60 percent. Scaled continues to work on the program to deliver SpaceShipTwo to Virgin Galactic. “The relationship between Scaled Composites and the Virgin Group is unchanged by this transaction,” a Northrop Grumman spokesman told AIN.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) studied the market for very light jets and found that FAA and industry experts are not too worried about forecasted growing ranks of small jets.
Based on the success of the SpaceShipOne (SS1) suborbital craft’s ascent on June 21 (AIN, July, page 2)–becoming the first privately funded manned spacecraft to reach 100 km (328,000 feet)–designer Burt Rutan is confident that he and his company, Mojave, Calif.-based Scaled Composites, will win the $10 million Ansari X Prize by year-end.
As studies on Bombardier’s proposed 110- to 130-seat jets progress, all the early talk about extensive use of new high-tech composites in the airframe now appears somewhat exaggerated if not a complete misrepresentation.
All systems go! That was the message from the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter briefing at the Paris Air Show last week. The first test flights have already provided good validation of some of the aircraft’s unique features. The eight international partners are all still onboard, all having signed up for the production sustainment and flight development (PSFD) phase over last winter.