With a firm order for 10 Eclipse 500s and an option for 10 more, London, Ontario-based OurPlane became the first fractional customer for the very light jet, scheduled to enter service early next year. Prices for a one-quarter share of the Eclipse 500 start at $349,900, with a monthly fixed cost of $3,500 and hourly operating costs of $369, without a pilot.
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Aircraft
News and issues relating to business, aircraft, primarily turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters.
Raytheon Aircraft has received an STC from the European Aviation Safety Agency approving the Hawker 400XP (crewed by suitably qualified pilots) to fly the steep approach procedures required to operate at London City Airport. Hawker Aircraft Services can supply the mandatory pilot training, and Hawker Aircraft Service Center in Chester, England, can install an STC-required mod to the enhanced GPWS to prevent false alarms during the approach.
Citation modification specialist Sierra Industries of Uvalde, Texas, last month received an STC for its Stallion conversion, a Citation 500/501 powered by Williams FJ44-2A turbofans in place of the twinjet’s original Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15Ds.
The champagne corks were surely popping in Wichita on September 8 when Cessna Aircraft announced it had earned full type certification of its newest jet, the Mustang. The paperwork was signed just short of four years after the company announced the project at the 2002 NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla.
Like the overall U.S. economy, the business aviation industry is still exceptionally strong, as reflected by the healthy number of new business aircraft in the works. There are now 31 business jets in development, in flight-test or certified within the last 12 months.
At press time, FAA type certification continued to elude Eclipse Aviation for its very light jet, while Cessna confirmed speculation that it would be first to certify a VLJ when its Citation Mustang received Part 23 type certification for everything but known icing on September 8 (see page 1).
The long-delayed Farnborough F1 utility turboprop single appears to have found new life through an agreement between its UK developer, Farnborough Aircraft, and Abu Dhabi-based Gulf Aircraft Maintenance (Gamco). Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed at November’s Dubai Air Show, Gamco will manufacture the aircraft, which will be marketed under the name Kestrel JP100 by a new joint venture called the Gulf Aircraft Partnership.
The Guthrie, Okla. Industrial Development Authority is giving Excel-Jet, developer of the four-seat Sport-Jet single-engine very light jet (VLJ), up to $5 million in incentives to relocate its facility from Colorado Springs, Colo., to Guthrie. Excel-Jet plans to move within 90 to 120 days, shortly after the expected first flight of its VLJ.
As Piaggio Aero’s new Avanti II entered production last month, the company also announced it is increasing production to meet growing demand for the turboprop twin, but will it be enough?
FBO Western Aircraft of Boise, Idaho, early last month celebrated delivering its 100th PC-12. The Pilatus Business Aircraft distributor delivered the new turboprop single to Butler Machinery. Boulder, Colo.-based Pilatus Business Aircraft, a subsidiary of Pilatus Aircraft in Switzerland, said the delivery brings the PC-12 worldwide fleet to 583 aircraft since the type entered service in 1994.