Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company has produced the first VIP version of its new Superjet SSJ-100 airliner. The first example of the Sukhoi Business Jet was on display at last month’s MAKS airshow in Moscow. It is due to go to Russian defense export agency Rosoboronexport by year-end. This aircraft is based on the standard SSJ-100 model but future SBJs will be based on the long-range version of the narrowbody.
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Aircraft
News and issues relating to business, aircraft, primarily turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters.
Beechcraft’s primary focus at this week’s JetExpo show will be on helping prospective Russian clients shake off any misgivings they might have about traveling in twin-turboprop aircraft. The U.S. manufacturer is displaying a King Air 350i and and C90GTx at Moscow’s Vnukovo-3 Airport and it will be emphasizing the superior operational flexibility and economics that these aircraft can deliver.
Airbus has started market research focused on the needs and preferences of the world’s growing population of billionaires. Announcing the project in Moscow on September 9, Airbus Corporate Jets marketing director David Velupillai said that the investigation should be completed by October, with the results to be made public in a report during the following month. The study is intended to look beyond purely aircraft and travel, and will try to collect a broad array of data on billionaire’s lifestyles, habits and hobbies.
FlightSafety International announced a “significant” expansion of the training the company offers for Cessna Citations and Caravans at its learning centers in Orlando, Fla.; San Antonio and Wichita. This includes training for the full Citation Excel/XLS series in Orlando, including a new level-D XLS+ sim outfitted with Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics; addition of the only existing CJ2+ simulator in San Antonio; and a Cessna Caravan simulator equipped with a Garmin G600 avionics suite that just came online in Wichita.
Southern England-based business aircraft sales, charter and management firm ConnectJets has been awarded the UK dealership for the Piaggio Aero Avanti II. As such, it is now the dealer for the twin turboprop in the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. ConnectJets said it will soon announce a partner so it can launch a shared-ownership program later this year for Avanti II clients throughout the UK and aforementioned self-governing Crown dependencies.
Palm Beach, Fla.-based Piaggio America–the North American representative for Piaggio Aero, the Italian company that manufactures the Avanti twin turboprop–will create an “OEM-trained team with the support of additional specialists furnished from Italy” to offer restoration services to fractional share owners of Avantis grounded by the bankruptcy of Avantair, Piaggio America president and CEO John Bingham told AIN yesterday.
Garmin launched a G5000 avionics modernization program for the Beechjet 400A/Hawker 400XP, targeted for FAA STC approval in 2015, that will be available at certain Garmin dealers. The company estimates that the glass cockpit retrofit for the light twinjet will cost between $450,000 and $500,000 installed. In addition to modernizing the flight deck, the new avionics package is lighter and thus raises the jet’s useful load by 200 pounds.
The first production copy of the Cessna Citation M2, an updated CJ1+ with Garmin G3000 avionics, logged its maiden flight from Cessna Aircraft’s Independence, Kan. facility on Friday. It reached altitudes up to 17,500 feet during the two-hour sortie. The M2, which was announced in September 2011, is expected to receive FAA certification in the fourth quarter.
Aircraft charter and management firm Talon Air added four new Hawker 4000s to its Part 135 certificate this week. The super-midsize jets are based at Talon’s new 100,000-sq-ft hangar and office complex at New York’s Republic Airport in Farmingdale, Long Island. With nine Hawker 4000s on its charter certificate–nearly one-fifth of the in-service fleet of this type–Talon remains the largest owner and operator of these twinjets in the world.
Cessna Aircraft has completed the first fuselage for its midsize Citation Latitude, the Wichita-based company announced on Thursday. FAA certification and entry into service of the Latitude is scheduled for mid-2015.
The initial fuselage is now being used as a static-test article, while a second Latitude test article will soon be used for structural trials. According to Cessna, the third fuselage built will be for the flying Latitude prototype, which is expected to be powered on later this year and fly early next year.