Piaggio Aero is about to deliver the 150th P180 Avanti II to a customer and the Italian airframer at last seems to be coming to grips with an unacceptably slow production process that has badly stalled its output rate for the program.
News and issues concerning aerospace companies, including formations, acquisitions, mergers and financials; and announcements of significant aircraft sales, delivery statistics and personnel appointments.
The number of deliveries of new business aircraft is expected to increase substantially in the next 10 years, but this will be accompanied by a reduction in orders, especially in the short term, according to new Bombardier Aerospace statistics.
Manufacturers will deliver almost 13,000 new business aircraft worth $233 billion in the 2008 to 2017 period, according to pundits at Honeywell Aerospace. The U.S. group’s 16th ten-year forecast since 1987 logged 2007 as the fourth straight year of industry expansion.
Responding to increased demand for its parts throughout the Middle East and India, Hawker Beechcraft has named Kolkata, India-based Arrow Aviation Services an authorized distributor through its Rapid factory-direct parts division. Arrow is one of the subcontinent’s leading parts suppliers with sales offices throughout India, as well as a new facility in Dubai, site of its main warehouse.
According to Eurocontrol, by 2010, European operators will have ordered some 500 very light jets (VLJs) and about 300 of these will have been delivered by then, with most of them being destined for air-taxi services.
EADS Socata, in a bid to enter the growing small corporate flight department and air taxi market, is evaluating the case for developing a new turboprop or business jet that would be bigger than its six-seat TBM 850 but would not replace it. The French company is seeking financial and/or industrial partnerships for the $390 million project. It expects to make a decision on the new aircraft by early 2009 and fly it within five years.
Low demand for corporate aircraft and small airliners has led New York-based financial advisor Moody’s Investors Service to review, and possibly downgrade in
the next two months, certain Bombardier debt ratings. Bombardier Aerospace’s intermediate-term earnings and cash flow could be constrained by any adverse market effects, according to Moody’s corporate finance group senior vice president Tassos Philippakos.
There is a justifiable argument to be made that waiting until students are in college to expose them to a career option is too late. Jeff Lee, director of flight operations for IBM in White Plains, N.Y., agrees.
The Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry vowed to keep the nine recommendations released in its November 18 final report from languishing somewhere within the vast federal bureaucracy. “We believe that people in the next century should see aerospace as something where anyone or anything can go anywhere, at any time,” said commission chairman Robert Walker.
French utility aircraft builder Reims Aviation went into bankruptcy protection on October 30. A company statement said the move was forced by a cash-flow crisis rather than a lack of orders.