General aviation is not going to “blacken the sky” with very light jets, said General Aviation Manufacturers Association president and CEO Pete Bunce, and he took issue with those who would use that claim for a “misguided imposition” of user fees on GA.
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Aircraft
News and issues relating to business, aircraft, primarily turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters.
Early last month, the Superior Court judge presiding over the lawsuit between Farnborough Aircraft and Epic Aircraft parent Aircraft Investor Resources (AIR) granted an injunction allowing Farnborough access to the F1/Kestrel JP100 prototype that AIR was building under an agreement.
On Friday, the FAA issued the type certificate for the Ibis Aerospace Ae270 turboprop single to Aero Vodochody, the Czech partner in the joint venture with Taiwan’s Aerospace Industries Development. About a month earlier, the European Aviation Safety Agency issued its certification.
While the FAA drastically cut down on the numbers of very light jets estimated to take to take to the air in the next decade, comments and speeches at the agency’s 31st Annual Forecast Conference this week indicate there will be changes in the way the aviation industry is to pay for operating the nation’s aviation system. For general aviation, it could be in the form of new user fees, higher fuel taxes or both.
Gulfstream Aerospace, which experienced a 12-percent increase in aircraft production last year compared with 2004 and expects that growth to continue, revealed plans yesterday for a $300 million expansion of manufacturing and service facilities at its Savannah, Ga. headquarters. This project, to unfold over the next seven years, includes a new 570,000-sq-ft service center–more than twice the size of the existing center.
Bombardier Aerospace's results improved in FY 2006, primarily the result of a continued strong business jet market. According to financial results released yesterday for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended January 31, the regional aircraft market presented "significant challenges," but the business jet market remained strong with a "45-percent boost in deliveries, reflecting increases in all Bombardier business aircraft models.
Westport, Conn.-based Avocet Aircraft has canceled its program to develop a $2 million, six-seat very light jet known as the ProJet. “It just wasn’t the right time to be going forward with the program,” Avocet chairman and founder Carey Wolchok told AIN. Avocet and Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) publicly announced their collaboration on the ProJet in August 2003, with certification then expected by 2007.
Cessna, Eclipse and Adam Aircraft are all confident that their respective very light jets will be certified this year. According to Cessna chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton, the Citation Mustang is on track for FAA approval in the fall, though he hinted that the VLJ could get its papers a little earlier.
Piaggio Aero Industries, manufacturer of the Avanti turboprop twin, says it will develop a business jet. The Italian airframer is considering which of two designs to develop, but must first reach agreement with a “strategic partner” to make the project a reality. “The concept is almost frozen.
Embraer is extending the $2.75 million introductory price to May 31 for the Phenom 100, its offering in the growing very light jet segment. The price of the eight-seat, 1,160-nm (four occupants) Phenom 100 increases to $2.85 million on June 1. First flight is scheduled for the first quarter of next year, with entry into service expected in mid-2008.