After an extended gestation period and months of uncertainty about first delivery, Eclipse Aviation delivered its first production very light jet (VLJ). When the FAA awarded an airworthiness certificate for the first production Eclipse 500 in the closing hours of last year the Albuquerque, N.M.-based tyro airframe manufacturer immediately initiated a virtual “delivery” in which the co-owners completed the documents via fax.
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Aircraft
News and issues relating to business, aircraft, primarily turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters.
The Airbus Corporate Jetliner family has just grown bigger, with the introduction of its newest member, the smaller A318 Elite. The Elite offers less range (up to 4,000 nm) and a shorter cabin than the Airbus 320. Airbus said Germany’s Lufthansa Technik will outfit the Elite with a choice of two cabin layouts seating up to 14 and 18 passengers, respectively, with seats clustered in several lounge areas throughout the cabin.
In preparation for introducing its A700 very light twinjet late next year, Adam Aircraft has teamed up with Chicago-based JSSI to offer owners an hourly maintenance plan.
At a ceremony today, Embraer president and CEO Mauricio Botehlo and senior vice president Luis Carlos Affonso pulled the wraps off full-scale mockups of the company’s very light and light jets to reveal their names–the Phenom 100 and 300, respectively. Yesterday, Embraer disclosed it had selected the Garmin G1000 integrated avionics system for the airplanes, both of which will be certified for single-pilot operations.
New avionics and an upgraded cabin interior distinguish the Learjet 60XR from the Learjet 60, which will be replaced when the newer version of the midsize jet enters service in the first quarter of 2007. The Learjet 60XR will feature Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics, as well as an integrated flight information system that allows the pilots to call up approach plates and airport diagrams on the flight displays.
Despite a last-minute change of venue and dates for this year's NBAA Convention due to the devastation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, it appears that the event–which closes tomorrow–will be as successful as ever. The number of exhibitors and aircraft on display at the Orlando, Fla. Venue exceed last year's show in Las Vegas, and there has been no decrease in expected announcements of new and derivative aircraft.
Cessna is calling for an additional 260 Citation owners and operators from among NBAA attendees to meet the target total of 400 aircraft for the fifth annual Citation Special Olympics Airlift, July 2 to 7 next year at Iowa State University in Ames. The event will be the largest ever, with the need to carry more than 2,500 athletes, coaches and delegates.
Significant fleet orders were announced today for the Eclipse 500, Citation and Avanti at NBAA 2005. Linear Air of Lexington, Mass., and JetSet Air of the UK have placed firm orders for 15 and 30 Eclipse 500 very light jets, respectively. These transactions bring the Eclipse order book to 2,350 airplanes (1,592 firm orders and 765 options), all secured with nonrefundable deposits, the company said.
Pilatus’ PC-12 turboprop single will receive several upgrades next year, raising the base price of the aircraft by $80,000 to $2.79 million and a typically equipped aircraft to $3.4 million, according to a spokesperson for Pilatus Business Aircraft in Broomfield, Colo. The 2006 PC-12 will offer an additional 530 pounds of useful load, bringing it from 3,600 to 4,130 pounds for a typically equipped aircraft in an executive configuration.
Boeing Business Jets announced yesterday at the Dubai Air Show that it is now offering the BBJ3, an executive version of its new 737-900ER. With five auxiliary fuel tanks, the BBJ3 will have a range of 4,765 nm. Its 1,120-sq-ft cabin is 35 percent more than that of a BBJ and 11 percent more than that of the BBJ2. The list price is $62.5 million, but it will be a while before deliveries can begin.