In this year’s AIN Product Support Survey, Embraer and Gulfstream tied for first place in business jet support.The results were released on Friday. Both companies’ support scores dropped to an overall average of 8.1 (out of 10), down from 8.2 for Embraer and 8.3 for Gulfstream in last year’s survey. This is the first time in many years that Gulfstream hasn’t owned the top spot by itself.
News and issues relating to business, corporate and private aviation, primarily regarding turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters. Subjects include aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
To great fanfare, Pilatus rolled out its new PC-24 “Super Versatile” jet on Friday at its home airfield of Buochs, near the town of Stans in central Switzerland. The prototype of the twin-engine business/utility jet was pulled across the runway by 24 horses before coming to rest on a giant Swiss flag painted on the apron, in front of a grandstand with 1,000 VIPs and another 24,000 people.
Two U.S. humanitarian aid workers who contracted Ebola while working in Africa were flown from Liberia to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta aboard a specially equipped aeromedical Gulfstream GIII operated by Cartersville, Ga.-based Phoenix Air. Dr. Kent Brantly was transported to the U.S. on Saturday, August 2, and Nancy Writebol was flown back today, arriving early this afternoon at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Ga. Both worked for aid group Samaritan’s Purse.
Embraer plans to begin assembling its new midsize Legacy 450 and 500 business jets at its Melbourne, Fla., campus by 2016. The company will break ground soon on a major new plant expansion at its Melbourne facility and expects to add 600 more jobs when it is fully up and running. Embraer already assembles Phenom 100s and 300s at the Florida facility. Meanwhile, Embraer Executive Jets senior vice president Jose Eduardo Costas added that certification of the fly-by-wire Legacy 500 is “imminent.”
Hartzell Propeller will supply new lightweight propellers to Piaggio Aero Industries for its third-generation Avanti twin turboprop–the Avanti EVO. For the EVO, Hartzell worked with Piaggio to develop highly swept, wide-chord aluminum alloy propellers that, when combined with changes to the nacelle and engine exhaust geometry, reduce external noise by five dBA, a 68-percent improvement. Cabin noise is also lowered by 20 percent, or one dBA, thanks in large part to Hartzell’s five-blade scimitar design.
Former flight attendant Kimberley Mason is seeking to bring an extra level of comfort to private jet passengers with the launch of a new flight bag developed by her UK-based company, Urma Textiles. Each flight bag contains a blanket, socks and eye mask made from exceptionally soft and luxurious baby alpaca wool and can be customized for each client with individual colors, stitching and logos.
Charter hub Returnjet.com is extending free access to aircraft availability data to brokers in a bid to challenge the market dominance of rival portal Avinode. The change, which took effect July 14, will also allow operators who have registered their fleets with the site to have complimentary access to the real-time data.
Operators will continue to pay a 3-percent “introduction fee” for any flight conducted as a result of customer contact from the site. Returnjet plans to introduce reduced introduction fees for flights booked by brokers.
The 2014 Farnborough International Airshow (July 14-20) was a dynamic and captivating edition of the long-running biennial event–packed with high-octane sales activity, novelty and a touch of controversy. As of press time, the show was on track to surpass all the main metrics for the 2012 event, with more than twice the volume of announced sales; more than 100,000 visitors on the five trade days; and approximately 1,500 exhibitors (of which 26 percent were newcomers and 15 percent had expanded their presence).
The results of this year’s AIN Product Support Survey are in, and some big changes have upended last year’s rankings.
Airbus Group announced yesterday that it is “pursuing disposal options for its investment in Dassault Aviation.” Airbus’s 46-percent share gives it no power in decision making and is only a legacy of the share the French state used to have in Dassault. The Dassault family, via the GIMD holding company, owns slightly more than 50 percent of the manufacturer of the Rafale fighter and the Falcon business jets. Investor activist group TCI estimates that Airbus’s share in Dassault is worth €5 billion.