Today marks the official launch of aircraft purchase agreements for the Pilatus PC-24 twinjet, which was unveiled at EBACE 2013 on May 21 last year. The company is officially signing agreements with launch customers here at its EBACE display, where visitors can get a taste of the PC-24’s interior in the full-scale mockup of the new jet. The $8.9 million (2017 economic terms) PC-24 will offer a new category to the business aviation market, according to Pilatus, which labels the PC-24 as a “super versatile jet.”
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Aircraft
News and issues relating to business, aircraft, primarily turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters.
Aerion Corp. (Booth 3634) is redesigning its proposed supersonic business jet (SSBJ) with a larger cabin and more range, reflecting feedback from a recent operators survey. The new aircraft–dubbed AS2, for Aerion supersonic second design–has three engines versus two on its now-scrubbed predecessor. It still retains a supersonic natural laminar-flow wing, which it calls “the key enabling technology behind practical and efficient supersonic and high-subsonic flight.”
Scott Ernest, who joined Textron and took over as CEO of the company’s Cessna subsidiary in May 2011, recently presided over one of the largest manufacturer mergers in aviation history this year, the integration of Cessna and Beechcraft. In March Textron bought Beechcraft for $1.4 billion and placed the Cessna and Beechcraft brands under the newly formed Textron Aviation, headed by Ernest as president and CEO.
Yesterday at EBACE Piaggio Aero (Booth 6134) launched the Avanti EVO, a new business version of the twin-turboprop P.180 Avanti that promises additional performance, greater passenger comfort and enhanced safety features. Fitted with Piaggio-designed winglets, redesigned engine nacelles, a reshaped front wing (canards) and five-bladed scimitar propellers, the Avanti EVO is more eye-catching than ever. However, the aerodynamic refinements have been undertaken to provide significant performance benefits.
Ultra-long just became ultra-longer after Gulfstream president Larry Flynn revealed yesterday a new addition to its successful family in the shape of the G650ER. As its name suggests, the aircraft is an extended-range version of the G650 business jet. The G650’s already lengthy range figure of 7,000 nm is extended to a 7,500 nm at a cruise speed of Mach 0.85, which will make it the longest-ranged business jet in the world when it receives certification. Alternatively, the ER version can reach out a further 400 nm beyond the baseline G650 to fly 6,400 nm at Mach 0.9.
Progress on the HondaJet continues toward the model’s planned certification in the first quarter of next year, Honda Aircraft (Booth 6559) announced at EBACE 2014 on Monday. The first production HondaJet (S/N 11) is now in final assembly in the company’s manufacturing facility on Piedmont Triad International (PTI) Airport in Greensboro, N.C.
Eclipse Aerospace has partnered with Boeing Digital Aviation subsidiary Jeppesen (Booth 3234) on a new web-based E-chart and navigation data delivery system for subscribers. The digital download will end the physical shipping of disk media to customers and ease update tasks for users that will no longer have to manually enter data into their avionics systems.
The business aviation market’s shift towards larger aircraft continues and the impact on the industry is growing, according to Teal Group’s latest annual business jet overview.
Accidents and incidents involving business jet operations in Europe fell dramatically last year compared to 2012. According to data gathered by AIN, there were five total mishaps last year versus nine in 2012. Three accidents caused 10 fatalities in 2012 whereas there was one fatal crash last year that killed two persons. Additionally, there had been no accidents or major incidents involving business jets in Europe as of late April this year.
Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation’s chairman and CEO, said late in April that he found the business jet market “a little bit slow.” He would like to see a more active market, especially in the U.S.“But step-by-step we are back on the right track, in terms of orders,” he added. AIN understands that Falcon salespeople have found the first four months of 2014 tougher than expected.