Charter broker Air Partner has entered the flight-planning market with the creation of a new division called Flight-Operations.com. The venture is based at Air Partner’s worldwide headquarters near London Gatwick Airport. Flight-Operations.com is led by Tim Lester, the former deputy managing director of rival flight-planning company Baseops.
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Aircraft
News and issues relating to business, aircraft, primarily turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters.
Full FAA certification of the super-midsize Hawker 4000 (neé Horizon) has slipped again–from the end of last year to early next month, a Raytheon Aircraft spokesman told AIN yesterday. The delay, he said, stems from the company recently opting to install lightning protection on RC5–the function and reliability test aircraft–before, instead of after, FAA approval.
French engine manufacturer Snecma has revealed plans to develop a turbofan engine to power business and regional jets. It has started developing a core engine demonstrator called the SM-X that, if a full development program is launched, would yield a powerplant producing between 8,500 and 10,000 pounds of thrust. Ground testing of the core is set for the second half of next year.
Bombardier’s Challenger 605, announced at the 2005 NBAA Convention, made a nearly 3.5-hour maiden flight on January 22 in Montreal. “The first flight went very well,” pilot Frank Magnusson told AIN. “There were no surprises at all.” The length of the flight was longer than typical. Said Magnusson: “The airplane performed flawlessly so we just kept going” and ended as sunset approached.
Significant increases in orders and deliveries will boost substantially the production of Cessna and Gulfstream business jets, according to the 2005 year-end financial reports just released by the OEMs’ respective parent companies, Textron and General Dynamics. Cessna booked orders for 100 Citations in the fourth quarter, bringing last year’s total orders to 329.
A two-year-old, previously undisclosed partnership between Epic Aircraft parent Aircraft Investor Resources (AIR) and Farnborough Aircraft Corp. Ltd. (FACL) has ended in legal action. The companies had been cooperating in the joint development of their respective Epic LT and Kestrel JP100 (formerly Farnborough F1) turboprop-single designs.
The FAA has scheduled a public meeting on March 22 and 23 in Kansas City, Mo., to address continued airworthiness of the U.S. general aviation fleet of recip and turbine airplanes. The meeting comes nearly six years after the first such gathering in 2000. No rulemaking followed that first meeting, but since then “there have been GA fatal accidents caused by the effects of airplane aging,” the agency said.
Reporting today on its year-end results, Raytheon said that Raytheon Aircraft delivered 255 turbine business airplanes last year (141 jets and 114 King Airs) compared with 219 (115 jets and 104 King Airs) in 2004. This was an increase of 16.4 percent year over year, just short of Raytheon’s revised forecast of 267 turbine business airplanes.
Last week, a federal judge ruled that Epic Aircraft parent Aircraft Investor Resources (AIR) must provide Farnborough Aircraft Corp. Ltd. (FACL) “with immediate access to the F1 prototype at the heart” of a lawsuit filed in November (see AINonline). Under the judgment, AIR was required to transport the prototype F1 to its Bend, Ore. plant, after which it will have until early March to mate a set of wings to FACL’s turboprop single.
The general aviation industry in 2005 reached an all-time record for billings and a four-year high in new turbine airplane deliveries. According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, billings of $15.1 billion on the shipment of 3,580 piston and turbine airplanes last year was a 27.2-percent increase from the $11.9 billion on the shipment of 2,963 airplanes in 2004.