The business jet delivery landscape remains virtually flat, according to third-quarter industry numbers released yesterday by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. In the first nine months of the year, OEMs delivered 428 business jets, just one more than they did during the same period last year. In the third quarter alone, airframers handed over 134 jets, a decrease from the 171 delivered in the previous quarter.
AINalerts » November 8, 2012
Apple’s iPad mini is likely poised to become the backup cockpit chart display device of choice for pilots, according to some aviation iOS app developers. The mini’s 7.9-inch (diagonal) screen is smaller than the 9.7-inch iPad, but the device contains the same A5 processor as the iPad 2 and tips the scales at less than half the iPad 2’s 1.5 pounds. Jeppesen has already concluded decompression testing of the newest iPad (fourth generation) and the mini, both of which started shipping earlier this week.
Bombardier Aerospace’s third-quarter revenues were flat at $2.3 billion year-over-year, but pre-tax profits at the Canadian aircraft manufacturer slipped by $6 million, to $123 million. Meanwhile, net deliveries of both regional airliners and business jets stood at 57 aircraft in the quarter, down from 68 a year ago. However, it added net orders for 83 aircraft and built a book-to-bill ratio of 1.5:1, compared with net orders for 34 aircraft during the same period last year.
Citing its intention to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as the standalone Beechcraft Corp., Hawker Beechcraft notified employees yesterday that it will begin the process of closing Hawker Beechcraft Services facilities in Little Rock, Ark.; Mesa, Ariz.; and San Antonio. The Wichita-based OEM also affirmed that approximately 240 employees will be affected at these locations.
Eurocopter announced today that Starlite Aviation is the launch customer for the new AS332C1e Super Puma medium-twin helicopter, a shorter-fuselage version that observers see as the manufacturer’s response to low-cost alternatives from Russia. The contract calls for two of the new helicopters to be delivered by the end of next year, following FAA and EASA certification. Starlite also has options for another two helicopters.
NetJets opened a new exclusive-use facility for its customers at Atlanta DeKalb-Peachtree Airport yesterday. The fractional aircraft provider has signed a long-term lease with Atlantic Aviation for the 2,800-sq-ft facility, which includes customer and crew lounges, a conference and business center and flight-planning facilities. According to NetJets, DeKalb-Peachtree is one of its most popular domestic destinations, with approximately 4,000 NetJets flights coming in and out of the airport annually.
Jet Aviation St. Louis plans to deliver its 200th green business aircraft completion next month. According to Jet Aviation, this will happen sooner than originally planned, thanks to continuous improvement initiatives that have increased the efficiency of the completions process and resulted in improved delivery times. Jet Aviation St. Louis has completed 197 aircraft to date since spooling up its completion business in earnest in 1997 with its first Challenger 601 completion. Its completions pace has accelerated in recent years, with 97 aircraft delivered since 2008.
Offshore operator Bristow “entered into an agreement” yesterday to order 10 Sikorsky S-92 medium-twin helicopters and secured options for another 16. The move emerges as the operator is keeping 16 Eurocopter Super Pumas on the ground, following two controlled ditchings that affected the EC225 type in just six months. Both ditchings were caused by a failure of the main gearbox.
Bombardier Learjet and the union negotiating committee representing its striking production-line workers entered into federal mediation yesterday, the union said. The strike at the Wichita aircraft manufacturer is now in its fifth week, and the two sides haven’t talked since the union rejected the proposed contract and voted to strike on October 6. The biggest roadblock was cost increases in medical insurance for workers.
AMI Aviation Services is taking orders for an STC and parts manufacturer approval (PMA) kit with optional installation services to retrofit the Beechcraft 1900D with Garmin G950 glass-panel avionics. According to AMI, the G950 avionics will modernize the aging 1900D cockpit and offer operators life-cycle cost benefits, including greater reliability, reduced weight, simplified fleet-wide training and a flexible architecture designed to accommodate future technology.