Two business aviation analysts told AIN that positive economic fundamentals–including strong profits and record-high stockpiles of cash on hand at companies–could lead to “some kind of upturn” for the industry in 2012 relative to last year, despite U.S. political gridlock, Euro-zone economic woes and continued unrest in the Middle East.
AINalerts » January 3, 2012
The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) went into effect for aviation users on New Year’s Day, just 10 days after NBAA lamented a European Court of Justice decision allowing European authorities to obligate all operators, including the airlines and general aviation, to comply with the program.
On December 23, Embraer rolled out the first midsize Legacy 500–S/N 00001–from the production hangar at the company’s São José dos Campos, Brazil headquarters. “This is a significant day for the Legacy 500 program,” said Embraer Executive Jets vice president of programs Maurício Almeida. “Releasing the aircraft from production to the test team will allow us to gather vital information during ground tests, which will be used to shorten the flight-test campaign.” The Legacy 500 is scheduled to fly in the third quarter.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) recently approved two Raisbeck Engineering King Air performance systems–the dual aft body strakes and the Crown wing lockers. First applications of the modifications in China are on a King Air 350, the Seattle-based company said. Other applications for Raisbeck mods–including current and upcoming performance systems on the Learjet 31/35/36/60 and all other King Air models–are currently working their way through the CAAC, according to Raisbeck.
After the U.S. Air Force awarded a $1 billion light attack aircraft contract last week to Sparks, Nev.-based systems integrator Sierra Nevada and its partner, Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer, Hawker Beechcraft described the process as “yet another example of the Air Force’s lack of transparency through this competition.” The decision eliminated Hawker Beechcraft’s AT-6 in favor of Embraer’s A-29 Super Tucano, both of which are high-performance, single-engine turboprop aircraft developed from military trainers.
Gulfstream Aerospace will not disclose how many wide-cabin G650s it delivered last year until January 25, when parent company General Dynamics will hold its fourth-quarter investor conference call. Following FAA provisional certification of the G650 in mid-November, the Savannah, Ga.-based aircraft manufacturer reconfirmed plans to deliver 10 to 12 G650s by the end of 2011. Investors are keen to find out if that target was met, especially in light of Gulfstream’s increasing importance to General Dynamics’s future growth.
Embraer delivered the first Lineage 1000 bizliner to a Chinese customer (identity undisclosed) on December 22. “The first Lineage 1000 delivered to the Greater China Region…is an important milestone for the company’s presence in this market,” said Embraer China president Guan Dongyuan. The bizliner has a range of 4,500 nm, allowing it to fly nonstop from Beijing to Dubai or from Hong Kong to Sydney, Australia, with four passengers and NBAA IFR fuel reserves.
Bombardier Aerospace received a firm order for five Challenger 850s worth $156 million, based on list prices, from an undisclosed customer on December 29. The Challenger 850 is an executive version of the Canadian aircraft manufacturer’s 50-seat CRJ200 regional jet, with a range of up to 2,811 nm.
The Jet Business, a non-OEM-affiliated business jet sales showroom, will formally open this month in central London. By appointment only, individuals and corporations can compare and contrast manufacturers’ various aircraft types, both new and pre-owned, and get “independent and impartial advice.” The showroom boasts floor-to-ceiling screens that can display full-size cabin cross-sections and floor plans of many jets.
CAE received FAA level-D approval for a Hawker Beechcraft King Air 350 Pro Line 21 flight simulator at its Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport location. The CAE 5000 series sim features the latest-generation image generators, airport databases and a liquid crystal on silicon visual display. In other news, CAE recently passed Dassault Aviation’s Falcon training policy manual quality system audit, which is designed to ensure adequate training services for all Falcon-affiliated personnel.