Eclipse Aviation CEO Vern Raburn surprised the attendees at a packed NBAA press conference yesterday when he predicted the company would build 525 airplanes by the end of next year. He also hinted that Eclipse already has firm plans for a follow-on aircraft model, but he would not elaborate further.
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Aircraft
News and issues relating to business, aircraft, primarily turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters.
Raytheon has 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 next year.
Spectrum Aeronautical (Booth No. 2142) announced yesterday 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.
Cessna’s Citation CJ4 isn’t just another derivative of the CitationJet family–it is a clean-sheet design that incorporates some of the best features found in other Citations. “It has the best of the Encore-plus’s cockpit and cabin, the Mustang’s wide cabin door, Sovereign-style wing performance and the CJ3’s external baggage capacity,” said Citation 500-series product marketing manager Brett Palmiero.
Aerion SSBJ–Aerion continues on track with development efforts for its supersonic business jet. High-speed testing on the Aerion supersonic natural-laminar-flow wing was expected to be carried out last month by using a rocket sled to achieve the necessary Mach 1.5 test speed.
A U.S. congressman is raising a fundamental question about the Mitsubishi MU-2. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) is convinced that the airplane has a “shockingly high accident rate” and appears to be concerned that no one in the government took his advice last year that the airplane be grounded.
Grob, the German company that is developing the versatile, all-composite SPn light jet, has created a U.S. support network for the airplane and is about to establish a U.S. subsidiary to handle direct sales. Two prototypes are now in flight-test and construction of a third started last month. That airplane will join the final push for certification early next year.
BA609–The Bell Agusta BA609 tiltrotor program is progressing on schedule. On July 13, the second BA609 test aircraft (S/N 60002) performed its first ground run at AgustaWestland’s facility in Cameri, Italy. First flight of this aircraft is pending. S/N 60003 is also at the AgustaWestland facility in Cameri and S/N 60004 is on the assembly line at Bell’s plant in Fort Worth, Texas.
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.
A sage old pilot once neatly captured the purpose of business aviation: “People buy airplanes because they want to go places…fast.”