The Cessna Citation M2, a CJ1+ derivative announced in late September at the NBAA Convention in Las Vegas, flew on Friday from the aircraft manufacturer’s headquarters at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. According to Cessna, the M2 prototype’s inaugural flight lasted a little more than 1.5 hours and included tests of its Garmin avionics, autopilot, Williams engines and aircraft systems.
AINalerts » March 13, 2012
Driven by higher corporate profits and the growth of worldwide GDP, the demand for business jets is beginning to recover, according to the FAA Aerospace Forecast for Fiscal Years 2012-2032, released last week. The more expensive and sophisticated turbine-powered fleet (including rotorcraft) is projected to grow at an average of 2.9 percent a year over the forecast period, with the jet portion increasing at 4 percent a year.
Hawker Beechcraft announced yesterday that it “is implementing a furlough of its supply chain and final-assembly Premier IA and Hawker 4000 line in Wichita to synchronize its production line with availability of composite material from a key supplier.” While Hawker Beechcraft would not confirm the identity of this supplier, industry sources told AIN that the problem stems from epoxy resin supplier Cytec Engineering. At press time, Cytec had not responded to AIN’s inquiries seeking comment.
Aviation Partners announced yesterday that it received EASA STC approval for its high-Mach blended winglets on the Dassault Falcon 900 series. In the six months since the company obtained equivalent FAA approval, more than a dozen 900-series Falcons have been fitted with the winglets, which reduce drag and thus increase range by up to 7 percent, the company said.
NBAA thanked a bipartisan group of 28 U.S. senators yesterday for sending a letter to President Obama opposing the $100-per-flight user fee proposed in his Fiscal Year 2013 budget. The senators’ letter emphasized, “We believe the per-gallon tax assessed on aviation gasoline and jet fuel is the most efficient and effective way to generate revenue from aviation users.” A bipartisan group of 195 House members also recently sent a letter to President Obama opposing user fees.
Middle East flight operations services firm Nexus has established Nexus India following its expansion into Africa and the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Mumbai-based Sovika Airline Services. Currently, there are 136 airports in India and within the last decade the country’s domestic air traffic has quadrupled. Industry forecasts predict that the healthy market growth witnessed last year in India will continue to increase, with the country poised to be among the top five aviation nations in the next 10 years.
Los Angeles-based private equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners finalized its acquisition of ground support equipment manufacturer Tronair yesterday. The Holland, Ohio-based company makes more than 1,000 products–including towbars, electric tugs, tripod jacks, de-icer carts, lavatory servicing equipment, potable water carts and engine inlet covers–for more than 300 business aircraft, military aircraft and airliners.
Gulfstream parent company General Dynamics promoted the head of its marine unit, Phebe Novakovi, to the newly created positions of president and COO, effective May 2. While it has a chairman and CEO–Jay Johnson–General Dynamics thus far has had only four executive vice presidents, including aerospace head Joe Lombardo, for each of its main businesses, but not a company-wide president or COO.
While the inaugural three-day Abu Dhabi Air Expo held last week at Al Bateen Executive Airport attracted almost 100 exhibitors and approximately 7,500 visitors, the airport itself was the star of the show. Opened in the 1960s, Al Bateen is minutes from Abu Dhabi’s prime locations and lies on the city’s main island. In 2008, airport manager Abu Dhabi Airports converted it into a facility for business jet operators. Established VIP players Al Jaber Aviation and Prestige Jet and charter operator Falcon Aviation Services are its major users.
Environmental group Friends of the Earth filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), charging the agency with failure to respond to its 2006 petition requesting the regulation of lead emissions from GA aircraft under the Clean Air Act. In the petition, the group asked the EPA to rule that emissions from aircraft that burn leaded fuel may pose a threat to public health. According to the group, nearly six years later, there has been no final action from the agency.
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