The German aerospace research office, the DLR, is preparing for the 2009 introduction of a modified Gulfstream G550. The long-range business jet will be fitted with a host of special instruments for atmospheric research. It is the platform of an $84 million (E67 million) acquisition program dubbed Halo, for high-altitude, long-range research aircraft.
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.
Landings to below Cat I and II ILS minimums have been possible for more than three decades, but the price of admission until recently has been autoland certification of the aircraft and crew.
The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) staged a successful regional forum at the UK’s Farnborough Airport on September 13. The event, hosted jointly by TAG Aviation and FlightSafety International, drew more than 200 visitors and about 20 exhibitors.
The champagne corks were surely popping in Wichita on September 8 when Cessna Aircraft announced it had earned full type certification of its newest jet, the Mustang. The paperwork was signed just short of four years after the company announced the project at the 2002 NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla.
Like the overall U.S. economy, the business aviation industry is still exceptionally strong, as reflected by the healthy number of new business aircraft in the works. There are now 31 business jets in development, in flight-test or certified within the last 12 months.
The market for very light jets (VLJs) will be worth $2.52 billion over the next five years, according to a new study by UK-based consultants PMI Media. The report’s author, Philip Butterworth-Hayes, expects six VLJs will make it into service: the Adam Aircraft A700, Cessna Citation Mustang (the first of the breed to receive FAA certification), Diamond D-Jet, Eclipse 500, Embraer Phenom 100 and HondaJet.
At press time, FAA type certification continued to elude Eclipse Aviation for its very light jet, while Cessna confirmed speculation that it would be first to certify a VLJ when its Citation Mustang received Part 23 type certification for everything but known icing on September 8 (see page 1).
Pilatus Business Aircraft held its first-ever regional operators conference on August 17. Appropriately, the event took place in Manchester, N.H., home of Alpha Flying’s Plane Sense Pilatus PC-12 fractional share company and Atlas Pilatus Center, Alpha’s PC-12 service center.
Head-up displays (HUDs) provide pilots with an array of flight-related information, when and where they need it most. The thick piece of HUD combiner glass that folds down and locks into position in front of the pilot’s eyes puts a veritable visual feast of instantly recognizable symbology directly in the forward field of vision.
While business aircraft are one of the most important tools of investment bankers and venture capitalists, investing in new aircraft designs doesn’t appear to be on their radar this year. According to a report issued last month by the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), investors plan to increase their funding pools by about 10 percent over last year.