Earthjet–a proposed new light-jet air-taxi network–says that it has narrowed the choice of manufacturers to two companies to build the start-up’s envisaged airplanes. According to company president Dean Rotchin, one of the contenders is already flying a prototype of a jet that is close to Earthjet’s desired specifications–flying four passengers up to 1,000 miles in a cabin larger than that of a very light jet (VLJ).
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Despite limited availability of near-term delivery slots, order and shipment activity at Cessna continues to be “extremely strong and is showing no signs of abatement anytime soon,” according to Lewis Campbell, chairman, president and CEO of Cessna parent Textron. Cessna delivered 74 Citations in the third quarter and expects to ship 85 in the fourth quarter, to bring this year’s total to more than 300.
Honda Aircraft revealed the price, projected performance figures and other details of the HondaJet very light twinjet. The company plans to certify the jet for single-pilot operations under Part 23 and start deliveries in 2010, and it submitted a type certificate application to the FAA on October 11.
It wouldn’t be an NBAA Convention if Cessna failed to announce a new Citation, and this year it introduced two: the clean-sheet CJ4 and the XLS+ upgrade. First flight of the 11-seat CJ4 is planned for spring 2008, with FAA certification to follow in late 2009. Service entry of the $7.995 million twinjet is expected in spring 2010. As of today, Cessna said it has orders for 70 CJ4s.
Pilatus revealed a next-generation PC-12 featuring a more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada turboprop engine and a four-tube Honeywell Apex integrated avionics suite. The Swiss airframer said a program is under way to certify the enhanced version of the aircraft by the end of next year, with deliveries to start immediately afterward.
Raytheon announced a broadening of its Hawker product line by introducing the Hawker 900XP and the Hawker 750, both derivatives of the Hawker 850XP. The models will replace the Hawker 850XP when they begin entering service.
Piper’s prolonged pondering of a jet reached fruition at the NBAA Convention with an announcement today that it will design and build a very light jet with a “high-speed natural laminar flow wing” and powered by a single 2,400-pound-thrust turbofan. Piper plans to fly the PiperJet in spring 2008 and start deliveries in the first half of 2010.
Cirrus Design will officially launch its single-engine CirrusJet this month at the NBAA Convention in Orlando. In a promotional mailing sent out this week, Cirrus said the very light jet will be able to cruise at more than 300 ktas, fly more than 1,000 nm and have a service ceiling of 25,000 feet.
On Saturday, Eclipse Aviation received FAA type certification for the Eclipse 500, nine months later than originally planned when the company announced in early 2003 that it would have to modify the design due to switching from the Williams EJ22 turbofan to the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F.
Piper Aircraft will reveal details of its next-generation aircraft, widely believed to be a single-engine very light jet, during the NBAA Convention next month in Orlando, Fla. Piper officials have said it will fall between the $2 million Meridian turboprop single and the approximately $4 million HondaJet.