EBACE 2005: Aircraft

 - October 16, 2006, 5:50 AM

Raytheon Aircraft brought a completed Hawker Horizon to Geneva for the first time. Full FAA certification of the super-midsize jet is expected by the end of this summer and EASA approval next year. The Wichita OEM has firm orders for 32 Horizons, and a soon-to-be-finalized firm order from NetJets for 30 aircraft and options on another 20.

EADS Socata showed an example of its TBM 700C2 turboprop single with a separate pilot door on the left side. Socata expects to break a production record this year after starting with a backlog of 23 aircraft, which covers 65 percent of its planned production.

Dassault allowed potential buyers and others to experience the flying characteristics of its Falcon 7X in a simulator at its EBACE booth. Said AIN avionics editor Stephen Pope, “Flying the airplane was a cinch thanks to the fly-by-wire flight controls, which react to pilot inputs to the sidestick and throttles to make the airplane do precisely what the pilot wants it to do.”

Adam Aircraft, making its first appearance at an international airshow, said it met with EASA officials in Geneva to discuss European approval of its A500 piston twin (which received FAA certification on May 11 for VFR flight to 12,500 feet), and its under-development A700 twinjet.

The $5.97 million Avanti II, an upgraded version of the current Avanti twin turboprop pusher, will enter the production line in October, Piaggio Aero officials said at EBACE. Engine improvements will provide better efficiency between 28,000 and 37,000 feet.

Ibis Aerospace reported that on May 10 the Ae270 turboprop single had completed the final certification test flights required by the Czech CAA. The company now expects to receive basic certification this summer, deliver its first series airplane early next year and claims firm commitments for 80 aircraft.

Eclipse Aviation has three FAA-conforming Eclipse 500s in flight test, the company said in Geneva. The fleet so far has accumulated more than 90 flight-test hours during 70 flights, and the flight envelope has been expanded to 30,000 feet and speeds ranging from 72 to 230 knots. Two more beta aircraft should be taking to the air this summer. The company claims firm orders for 2,200 aircraft.

Embraer of Brazil announced that the Legacy had received approval to operate at London City Airport, the largest airplane permitted to land there in any weather. The company also said it intends to offer an enhanced-vision system for the Legacy in about 18 months.

Boeing is testing the waters for potential applications of new BBJ variants that could use the 737-600 or -900 as the basic platform. The current BBJ combines a -700 body with -800 wings and landing gear. Boeing officials planned to meet with a prospective 737-600/BBJ customer in Geneva during EBACE.