The first Citation Mustang test aircraft was towed from Cessna’s Pawnee facility in Wichita late last month for initial engine runs. According to a company spokeswoman, the engine run was one of the remaining systems tests to be completed before first flight, which is officially “this summer” but could occur this month.
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Aircraft
News and issues relating to business, aircraft, primarily turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters.
Pratt & Whitney Canada is striving to keep fuel burn on target for its PW307A engine, which will power the Dassault Falcon 7X. Based on results from the first series of engine flight tests, the Longueuil, Quebec-based manufacturer is confident it will avoid the fuel-consumption problem it had on the PW308C for the Falcon 2000EX.
Bombardier reported that it has received type approval for the Learjet 45 from the civil aviation agency of China (CAAC). In addition to paving the way for operators to register Learjet 45s in that country, the approval also extends to other models in the Learjet 40 series. The first civil operator to benefit from this approval will be charter operator Global Wings of Tokyo, which plans to base two Learjet 45XRs in Beijing.
The G150, which Gulfstream touts as the first wide-cabin, long-range, midsize business jet, rolled out January 18 in Tel Aviv in front of hundreds of Israel Aircraft Industries employees, officials from both companies, supplier representatives and certifying authorities.
Bombardier Aerospace’s case for the C Series may just have grown sounder last month as Boeing announced it would pull the plug on the 110- to 115-seat 717, the proposed Canadian jet’s main competitor. Boeing plans to end production of the weak-selling 717 by the middle of next year, after the last of a backlog of 18 airplanes rolls off its Long Beach assembly line.
Keeping its promise, Albuquerque, N.M.-based Eclipse Aviation flew the first Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F-powered Eclipse 500 certification flight-test aircraft at 10:16 a.m. MST on December 31. The milestone marked the beginning of a 15-month testing program that will involve seven test airframes and culminate with planned FAA certification in March next year.
While the Raytheon Hawker Horizon was one of the first to blaze the super-midsize business jet trail when it was launched at the 1996 NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla., it became the last of the new breed to be certified. The airplane gained provisional FAA approval just two days before Christmas, almost four years after the originally expected spring 2001 approval.
French supermarket tycoon Paul-Louis Halley, who had amassed a personal fortune estimated at $3.75 billion and was listed by Forbes as the 104th richest man in the world, died along with his wife and their pilot in the crash of a Socata TBM 700 (N30LT) at Oxford (Kidlington) Airport (EGTK), UK, on December 6. Inbound from Brussels Airport (EBBR), Belgium, the pilot was conducting an NDB/DME approach to Runway 01 at EGTK.
Bombardier began shakedown flights January 16 of the first Global Express XRS, a longer-range successor to the Global Express. The first flight lasted slightly more than four hours.
Deliveries of the 6,150-nm-range twin-engine business jet (already approved under the same type certificate as its predecessor) are expected to begin in the first quarter of next year.
A Gulfstream IISP (for Special Performance–GIIs equipped with Aviation Partners’ winglets) set a world speed record December 15 on its way from Los Angeles to Kitty Hawk, N.C. The record flight was made to honor the Wright brothers’ first manned powered flight 100 years ago. The GIISP made the cross-country flight in 3 hours 48 minutes at an average groundspeed of 548 knots.