The meteoric sales pace set by Embraer for its new line of very light jets only gained more momentum at this year’s NBAA Convention, as the Brazilian manufacturer announced no fewer than three large orders worth $188 million at list prices during the first two days of the event.
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Aircraft
News and issues relating to business, aircraft, primarily turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters.
On Saturday afternoon, Farnborough Aircraft’s F1 Kestrel prototype (N352F) lifted off the runway at Bend Airport, Ore., for its maiden flight. The milestone marks the completion of nearly five years of design and development since the newly formed Farnborough Aircraft Corp. Ltd. (FACL) began work on the all-composite, turboprop single. “This is a fantastic achievement,” said FACL chairman and CEO Geoffrey Galley.
By March, Sabreliner Corp. should be generating annual sales of $50 million, thanks to support of Sabreliner and Learjet 30-series business jets, subcontract manufacturing for other manufacturers and its Premier Turbines engine overhaul business.
From very large to very light jets about to crest the horizon, Pratt & Whitney Canada engines power some of business aviation’s most exciting designs. Anticipation and optimism are whetting the appetite for information not only about the airplanes, but also the engines that will propel them and the systems that will guide them. The NBAA Convention, as usual, serves as the venue for digesting a year’s worth of news.
This year quickly established itself as one of “rebalancing” of used business jet of inventory and aircraft pricing. A string of back-to-back quarters of falling supply and corresponding price increases came to an end, but not before inventories dipped to their lowest levels since 2000.
A Falcon 900 (N699BG) owned and operated by Erg Aviation II overran Runway 1 during landing at Greenville Downtown Airport, S.C., on July 17, but was stopped by the Engineered Materials Arresting System (EMAS), preventing possible injuries and damage. The pilot told the NTSB that during the approach the anti-skid system had to be tested twice to produce the correct indication.
Cessna is halfway through the 150-hour function and reliability (F&R) flight-testing on the Citation Mustang very light jet, the last step before gaining Part 23 type certification, expected in the fourth quarter and possibly beating the Eclipse 500 VLJ to full, unrestricted certification. The TC will include approval for single-pilot operation, operations in RVSM airspace and an airframe designed for an unlimited lifetime.
The industry’s fortunes have changed dramatically in the last three years, swinging wildly from the lowest of lows to almost unimaginable heights. For business aircraft makers, the current “cycle” likely will be remembered as one of the biggest roller-coaster rides in the industry’s history. Perhaps no company is more illustrative of the rapid turnaround than Dassault Falcon Jet.
It's going to be a photo finish between the Eclipse 500 and Cessna Citation Mustang in the race for full FAA type certification (TC). Yesterday, Cessna completed the 150-hour function and reliability testing, the last major hurdle before TC.
On Friday, Taiwanese-backed Sino Swearingen furloughed 100 production-line workers at its San Antonio final assembly plant for the SJ30 light jet, as well as 30 at its subassembly manufacturing facility in Martinsburg, W. Va. V-p of sales and marketing Bob Kromer told AIN that the “temporary” layoffs are due to hiring getting ahead of current SJ30 production capabilities.