Textron, parent company of Cessna Aircraft, held its first-quarter 2013 earnings call yesterday, and the news was not particularly uplifting for its Wichita-based business segment. Customers in the light jet market, who tend to be small business owners, continue to defer purchase decisions, “reflecting continued concerns about their financial outlook,” said Textron chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly. As a result, he continued, Cessna delivered 32 new jets in the first quarter, six fewer than the same quarter last year, “resulting in a segment loss in the quarter of $8 million.”
AINalerts » April 18, 2013
ABACE 2013 broke the records on all fronts as it closed today, according to show organizers NBAA and the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA). Attendance was up more than 20 percent from ABACE 2012, with 7,714 people walking through the door at this year’s show, which was held this week at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, China.
Private aviation support provider Universal Weather & Aviation has augmented its network in Asia with a Hong Kong trip support office, now open 24/7 to meet growing demand in the region. Universal has assembled a team with local and cultural knowledge to assist its customers. According to the company, which has operated in the region for more than three decades, its Asia-based clients are using their aircraft more and taking more trips outside the region.
GAMA and NBAA joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Transportation and coalition sponsors of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) in signing a joint resolution on Tuesday launching “Farm to Fly 2.0,” an initiative to encourage the development of jet biofuel in the U.S.
Jim Rice, chairman and CEO of VisionAire Jets, surfaced at ABACE 2013 this week in Shanghai to market the benefits of a single-engine jet and tell potential investors about the program. VisionAire Jets is developing the all-composite Vantage Jet, which will be powered by a single Williams International FJ33-3AP turbofan and fly up to 1,500 nm with a pilot and five passengers.
The still-under-wraps Dassault Falcon SMS (super-midsize) will feature an empennage made entirely of composite materials, sources have told AIN. Dassault has reportedly tapped Fokker to supply the complete empennage, using thermoplastic resin. AIN understands that these will be the largest thermoplastic composites parts yet used in civil aviation. These materials are said to be more expensive but easier to manufacture and more impact-tolerant than thermosets.
The number of Eurocopters based in China for both civil and parapublic operators has now reached the 100-aircraft mark. According to Eurocopter, the milestone helicopter–an EC120 light single–was recently delivered to an investor group that will provide “tailored solutions to support the development of helicopter flying clubs.” The company sold 16 turbine helicopters to Chinese commercial and parapublic operators last year, a 54-percent year-over-year increase. It claims a 40-percent share of the market for helicopters in China.
Eurocopter is now offering Sandel Avionics SN4500 primary navigation displays and SA4550 primary attitude displays as optional equipment on the EC135. As such, Sandel’s products are offered in Eurocopter’s blue book as part of the mid-life efficiency package for new-production EC135s. The SA4550 and SN4500 units feature LED-backlit display technology and “intuitive pilot controls.” The primary navigation display also includes Stormscope, traffic and datalink weather interfaces.
Boeing Business Jets celebrated the completion of the first BBJ for China’s Nanshan Jet at a ceremony yesterday at ABACE 2013 in Shanghai. “The Nanshan Group is an excellent example of a customer who understands the unique capabilities of the Boeing Business Jet and how this airplane addresses the needs of emerging Chinese global business,” said Boeing Business Jets president Steve Taylor.