While the number of business jet deliveries and overall industry billings continued to slide in the first quarter of 2012, there was a minor retrenchment for the turboprop segment, according to numbers released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).
AINalerts » May 15, 2012
Now that its 11,000-pound-thrust Silvercrest turbofan has a launch application–the Cessna Citation Longitude–Snecma can get serious about engine certification efforts. Flight testing of the engine is due to start in the first half of 2013 using a Gulfstream GII as a testbed, with engine certification pegged for 2015, the French company said yesterday at EBACE.
Nextant Aerospace expects to deliver more than 30 remanufactured 400XTs by year-end, company CEO Ken Ricci said yesterday at EBACE. To date, the company has delivered 10 Nextant 400XTs, and it expects to financially break even on the program when it ships the 14th aircraft in about two months.
NetJets Europe announced this week at EBACE that it is diversifying into aircraft management services. According to NJE sales director Marine Eugene, NetJets Aircraft Management has been established as a separate operation and will soon have its own air operator’s certificate. It will focus on large-cabin and long-range business jets, from the size of the Dassault Falcon 2000 upwards.
GE Aviation has frozen the design of its 16,500-pound-thrust GE Passport 20 engine, which will power the Bombardier Global 7000 and 8000 business jets, the company announced at EBACE yesterday. Consequently, the GE engine has entered the detailed design phase. “Component fabrication will begin soon,” it said, “leading to the start of assembly of the first full engine by year-end.”
Aurora Aviation yesterday at EBACE signed a memorandum of understanding for a partnership agreement to run the first full-service FBO at Fujairah International Airport in the UAE. “We are looking to make Fujairah our hub,” Aurora CEO Ammar Kutait told AIN. With slots easily available and holding time less, Aurora will promote the airport for technical stops. While Aurora is not interested in another FBO in the region, Kutait did hint at plans for the company to get into the fuel supply business at another undisclosed airport.
Saab Electronic Defense Systems is introducing Rigs, a lightweight, compact product for business aircraft and helicopters that can display navigation, attitude, flight, reticle and video information to the crew in a head-up display (HUD) presentation. Rigs conforms to European TSO requirements applicable to HUDs for transport aircraft, as well as night-vision-goggle requirements. It can be used simultaneously with NVG and the information can be presented in either red or green, depending on the flight application.
Turbomeca subsidiary Microturbo has completed the initial flight tests of its new auxiliary power unit for the AgustaWestland AW189. In-flight start of the e-APU60 has been demonstrated already, and the test unit has also successfully restarted one of the helicopter’s main engines in flight. Meanwhile, the e-APU60’s certification program is progressing well, with approval slated for next May.
Flight Display Systems introduced its upgraded Select CMS Platinum cabin management system this week at EBACE. Compared with the original Select CMS, the company said the Platinum version offers higher quality, better reliability and lower costs, and it is easier to install. The system provides high-definition with resolution up to 1080p on monitors from five to 55 inches. It also offers control through iPads, Android devices or any Web browser.
Lyon Bron Airport, which serves France’s second most populous urban area, is planning to expand its business aviation terminal and build new hangars as well as extend its runways. The runway extension, which will increase the length to 6,030 feet from 4,980 feet, is scheduled to be completed in March next year. By 2014, two new hangars are to be built–one for aircraft storage and the other for maintenance. Afterward, Lyon Bron will expand its business aviation terminal to include new conference rooms and an improved crew area.