A recent top executive appointment at Textron signifies more than just a leadership change. It was also part of a continued reorganization of the company’s corporate structure that started about a year ago and will affect its operating units, including Cessna Aircraft and Bell Helicopter.
News and issues concerning aerospace companies, including formations, acquisitions, mergers and financials; and announcements of significant aircraft sales, delivery statistics and personnel appointments.
A supersonic business jet (SSBJ), which many in the industry see as inevitable but just not in the near future, may have taken another step forward when Raytheon Aircraft partner Northrop Grumman unveiled its latest design for a supersonic military strike aircraft.
“Why doesn’t the U.S. host a world-class airshow?” It’s a question nearly as old as flight itself. In point of fact, the first recognized air fair per se was held outside Paris in 1909, just six years after the Wright Brothers’ first flight and a full five years before the airplane was about to come into its own as a weapon of war in nearby European skies.
On a blustery day on a deserted beach near Nags Head on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, two brothers began humanity’s controlled adventure away from the surface of the Earth that continues to this day.
Declaring that “this meeting is not designed to ask for a bailout of the American airline industry,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Thomas Donohue said last month at the chamber’s second annual national aviation summit that “we’re simply asking government not to require the airline industry to absorb more than its fair share of the costs associated with the war on terrorism and defense of our homeland.”
Shipments of new general aviation airplanes manufactured throughout the world totaled 1,766 units in the first nine months of 2002, down 16.6 percent from the same period last year, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Turboprops took the biggest hit: from 284 delivered in the first three quarters of last year to 170 in the same period this year, a decline of 40.1 percent.
One OEM called it “an adjustment.” Another referred to it as a “reduction in force.” Yet another described an “involuntary separation plan.” But by those or any other names, the meaning is the same– “layoffs.” In the past 18 months, business aircraft manufacturers have announced layoffs of more than 9,000 workers and, barring a reversal of the current economic trend, there will be more.
Boeing’s number-crunchers published their long-awaited new commercial market outlook at the Farnborough show–the first full-blown revision of airliner demand since September 11. The new forecast anticipates 24,000 new airplane deliveries over the next 20 years, which is actually 500 units more than the U.S. airframer had envisioned in its 2001 report.
The zero-based budgeting of the 1970s has transformed this year into ground-zero-based budgeting. When aviation faces economic crisis, it returns to basics–productivity, time saving and security. These core values of business aircraft remain the bedrock. All else is changeable.
As the Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry reached the halfway point in its study leading up to a final report to President Bush and Congress in November, the group called on the nation’s chief executive to create an interagency task force to address industry workforce and training needs.