Textron closed its $1.4 billion acquisition of Beechcraft on Friday, bringing together Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft to form Textron Aviation. While the two aircraft manufacturers are now combined within a single segment, “Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker will each remain distinct brands to preserve their rich histories and respective strengths in the marketplace,” the company said.
AINalerts » March 18, 2014
Daher-Socata unveiled the latest iteration of its turboprop single, the TBM 900, at its headquarters in Tarbes, France, last week. Derived from the TBM 850, itself a variant of the original TBM 700, the new version offers better efficiency and performance without an increase in fuel consumption or engine power, according to the company.
While the FAA acknowledged that “economic uncertainties” still affect the business jet market, the rate of decline slowed last year and the agency expects a recovery in the near term. In its annual 20-year aerospace forecast, released last Thursday, the FAA is calling for “robust growth” in the long term, driven by higher corporate profits and the growth of worldwide GDP, although at rates slightly lower than those predicted last year.
The Jan. 1, 2020, mandate for installation of ADS-B Out equipment in U.S.-registered aircraft was a hot topic last week at the Aircraft Electronics Association show in Nashville, Tenn. FAA officials noted that of the estimated 157,000 aircraft that need the upgrade, fewer than 3,500 had undergone the work as of March 11.
“Lower inventories and higher utilization suggest a recovery in new jet demand is approaching, though weak used pricing continues to weigh on the market for new jets,” J.P.Morgan North American Equity Research said in its latest business jet monthly report. According to the firm, pre-owned business jet inventory was flat last month on a sequential basis, though inventories are still “down nicely” year-over-year. Pre-owned pricing trends were also little changed.
Today Aircell unveiled the ST 4300, a global in-flight communications system for business aircraft that is expected to be eligible for Fans certification. The ST 4300 combines voice, narrowband data and cockpit datalink services into a single unit. Available with one, two or three Iridium voice/narrowband data channels, as well as a dedicated Iridium data channel, the system allows business aircraft operators to configure cabin and flight-deck communications to suit their specific needs and budgets.
Quintessentially Aviation Handling recently opened its new executive passenger and crew terminal facility at Ireland’s Shannon International Airport. The 1,750-sq-ft terminal includes an executive passenger lounge, as well as an airside crew rest lounge complete with satellite TV, Netflix, Wi-Fi, complimentary catering and modern Swiss furnishings. The terminal is also equipped with its own air bridge. Quintessentially Aviation Handling recently joined the Air Elite Network.
Vulcanair delivered the first P68 Observer 2 in China yesterday, less than two weeks after the Chinese Civil Aviation Authority (CAAC) granted type certificate validation for the twin turboprop. The aircraft was delivered to Vulcanair’s Chinese distributor, Tianjin-based China Aero Supply, which will in turn hand over the turboprop to its undisclosed customer. Vulcanair said this Observer 2 will be used for aerial photo missions. China Aero Supply also has “a number” of P68 Observer 2s on order, which will be delivered to China “soon.”
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) will hold a general aviation rally on March 28 at Bombardier’s Dallas Service Center at Dallas Love Field. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R) and House Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D), Sam Johnson (R), Pete Sessions (R) and Marc Veasey (D) will be the featured speakers.
Bell Helicopter announced that Helisul Air Taxi placed an order for a Bell 429 and signed purchase agreements for three new Bell 505 Jet Ranger Xs last month at Heli-Expo. This was part of the nearly 200 total agreements announced at the end of the show. Based in Foz do Iguaçu, Helisul is the largest air-taxi company in Brazil and one of the largest in the world.