Certification of Dassault’s 69,000-pound (maximum takeoff weight) 7X remains on track for early next year. Although the 7X has yet to be certified, more than 40 of the $39.2 million long-range trijets are already in various stages of production.
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Aircraft
News and issues relating to business, aircraft, primarily turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters.
A sage old pilot once neatly captured the purpose of business aviation: “People buy airplanes because they want to go places…fast.”
There are 12 very light jets currently in development, in flight-test or recently certified. Nearly all are clean-sheet designs, which typically consume more money and time than do derivatives, illustrating the faith manufacturers (and would-be manufacturers) have in this emerging market.
Start-up manufacturer Spectrum Aeronautical announced last month that it has selected the GE/Honda HF120 turbofan engine to power a new $6.2 million (2006 $) midsize business jet called the S-40 Freedom.
With the announcement, Spectrum became the second customer for the 2,050-pound-thrust engine, currently in development and slated for certification in 2009. The S-40’s certification and first deliveries are “targeted for” 2010.
One year after Embraer announced that it was jumping into the VLJ and light jet markets with a capital commitment of more than $200 million, the company has built a solid order book for its Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 models. The latest major order before the NBAA Convention was announced last month when Embraer revealed that Houston-based Magnum Jet has placed a $137 million order for 50 Phenom 100s and options for 50 more.
Less than a year from its planned service entry next September, the all-composite Grob SPn light jet is preparing to make a serious push on the North American marketplace with new sales and product support initiatives being announced this week.
Honeywell’s turbine engine folks are poised for show and tell about something new from something old–the time-tested TFE731 turbofan family–and something a lot newer: advanced technology aimed at developing a state-of-the-art engine in the 10,000-pound-thrust class.
Spectrum Aeronautical (Booth No. 2142) continues to develop its Model 33 VLJ following the fatal crash of its sole prototype on July 25. In recent weeks the company has buttressed its engineering staff with new hires and is proceeding with the design and building of a conformal test article that will fly “in about a year,” according to Austin Blue, Spectrum’s president.
On August 8 Honda Motor Co. launched a new company, Honda Aircraft, which will certify the very light HondaJet in three to four years. The company is headed by long-time Honda engineer Michimasa Fujino, who spent the past 20 years quietly studying the aviation marketplace and technology before designing a new airplane that promises to offer strong competition in the sub-10,000-pound business jet class.
The HondaJet officially went on sale at last month’s NBAA Convention in Orlando, racking up orders for “more than” 100 airplanes by the end of the three-day event.