The FAA last month awarded type certification to Cessna for its Citation CJ3 light jet and to Bombardier for its long-range Global 5000. The CJ3 features a cabin that is two feet longer than that of the CJ2, new Williams International FJ44-3A engines and advanced fully integrated Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics.
News and issues concerning aerospace companies, including formations, acquisitions, mergers and financials; and announcements of significant aircraft sales, delivery statistics and personnel appointments.
Some markets that have refused to pick up thus far, despite attractive pricing, might finally spark buyer interest this year. The Gulfstream II and GIII as well as the Challenger 600 may have felt all the pain they are going to. Some buyers have described the GII as a throwaway aircraft, meaning simply that if they buy one, they will do so with the intent of parking it once the engines have no more useful life.
Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta told a group of space-travel enthusiasts last month that the DOT/ FAA will be ready to issue permits for commercial space travel next year, and trips paid for by passengers could begin in 2008.
ATR senior vice president commercial John Moore has seen his share of ups and downs in this business, but never since he joined the company a decade ago had he experienced a year like last year, when ATR logged firm orders for 90 airplanes and reported a 15-percent increase in revenues, to $542 million. Last year’s haul equaled 1998 sales, and order figures ranked second only to ATR’s all-time record of 107 aircraft in 1989.
It took a while for the message to register, but Bombardier finally heeded the airline market’s counsel in late January and shelved its languishing C Series program. Although it will retain a staff of about 50 for studies on a small mainline jet, the company has begun shifting most of the financial and human resources once dedicated to the C Series to other programs, most notably studies on a new 90- to 100-seat regional jet.
Last month’s Regco order for 10 Q400s accompanied a flurry of minor transactions for Bombardier since AIN’s February issue went to press, starting with a contract for a pair of 74-seat Q400s from South African Airways.
With a commendable bow toward candor, Honeywell released its civil helicopter market outlook at Heli-Expo by qualifying the results of its survey: “The 2003 market outlook presents a snapshot of the market at a point in time and does not reflect unforeseen events such as an unexpected economic contraction, sharp increases in fuel costs, a fuel crisis, imposition of heavy user fees or other unfavorable regulations/taxes that could affect result
Crystal-ball gazing is a major part of any trade show. Heli-Expo has traditionally been the stage for the presentation of the Rolls-Royce/Teal Group’s 10-year forecast of worldwide turbine-engine helicopter demand. Overall, this year’s forecast calls for a
5-percent increase over the sales rates predicted last year, foreseeing total turbine helicopter deliveries of 10,407 over the years 2003 to 2012.
Bombardier has decided to further increase production of its CRJ700 and CRJ900 regional jets to one aircraft every three days, the company announced today during a review of its third-quarter FY2008 financial results. In August Bombardier said it planned to boost the rate from this fiscal year’s 50 to 57 in FY09, but projections for further backlog growth have prompted the hike to 64 per year.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries yesterday said it will establish a wholly owned subsidiary to produce commercial aircraft components in Hanoi, Vietnam. Plans call for the new division, dubbed MHI Aerospace Vietnam Co., Ltd. (MHIVA), to begin assembling metal aircraft components by the spring of 2009, starting with flaps for the Boeing 737.