As scheduled, Pilatus Aircraft opened the orderbook for the PC-24 twinjet yesterday at EBACE 2014 and all day long at the Pilatus booth chairman Oscar Schwenk and CEO Markus Bucher signed contracts with avid buyers. The first contract was inked by Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, with an order for four PC-24s. U.S. fractional-share PC-12 operator PlaneSense placed an order for six PC-24s, and other buyers included Falcon Aviation Services of the UAE, with two; Luxembourg-based Jetfly, four; U-Haul International in the U.S., two; and many others.
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Aircraft
News and issues relating to business, aircraft, primarily turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters.
Bombardier Aerospace unveiled a full-scale mockup of its Global 7000 yesterday on its stand at EBACE 2014 (Booth 6656). The Canadian manufacturer claims this is the largest-ever business jet mockup–at 111 feet long–and said it “showcases the aircraft’s spaciousness, luxury and comfort.” The massive mockup was shipped from the UK to the European mainland and Geneva via boat and truck.
Textron Aviation (Booth 6113), here for the first time since it integrated Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker, has a number of programs in development or just certified. The transition to a unified company is taking place in customer support, too, with maintenance technicians undergoing cross-training on all of each brand’s models. However, while Hawker jets continue to be supported, the company has no plan to produce any more aircraft under the brand, Textron Aviation president and CEO Scott Ernest said during a press conference on Tuesday.
Dassault’s Falcon 5X program is progressing on time for a maiden flight in the first half of 2015. Late in April, AIN was invited to see the first wing at Dassault’s Bordeaux Martignas factory and the first complete fuselage at the manufacturer’s Biarritz production facility. The aircraft will complete assembly and begin ground tests this summer.
Since Aviation Partners first flew its revolutionary Split Scimitar Winglet (SSW) on a Boeing BBJ in 2012, the aerodynamic modification has been certified by both the FAA and EASA for the 737-800/BBJ 2 version. Now the company is expecting the SSW to be certificated for the other members of the BBJ family before the end of the year.
At the ABACE show in Shanghai last month, Airbus Corporate Jets introduced a new model of its ACJ319 aimed at easing the buying process for its customers, and in its press conference yesterday the Toulouse-based manufacturer debuted the design to the European market. The derivative, known as the ACJ319 Elegance, has received strong interest from the Asian market after its launch, according to the company.
Nextant Aerospace comes to EBACE with its “as-new” 400XTi remanufactured business jet to promote the aircraft and to highlight developments with its next product, the G90XT. Based on the Hawker Beechjet 400A/XP, the 400XTi is a zero-lifed machine that has been remanufactured with new engines, avionics, cabin and aerodynamic improvements to match or exceed its new-build competitors in terms of performance and cabin comfort, yet at around half the price.
Dassault is planning various improvements to the Falcon 7X that are to be available later this year, both for retrofit and for new production aircraft. The France-based manufacturer is also leveraging fleet experience to have its customers make the most of their aircraft.
AIN had the opportunity to fly in Embraer’s Legacy 500 test aircraft (serial number 4) on April 8 at the manufacturer’s headquarters in São José dos Campos, Brazil. The first-ever press flight in the type had to be granted special authorization from the Brazilian aviation authority ANAC as it previously was restricted to Embraer’s flight-test team.
The impending service entry of Embraer’s Legacy 450s and 500s is set to complete the Brazilian manufacturer’s product portfolio–a sort of bridge of options connecting the Phenom 100 and 300 light jets with the larger Legacy 650 and Lineage 1000 models. During a pre-EBACE press visit to its São José dos Campos headquarters last month AIN found Embraer’s management in a confident mood, despite the fact that the overall fortunes of the business aviation market still seem somewhat mixed.