Eclipse Aerospace ceremonially delivered the first Eclipse 550 today at NBAA 2013, marking the first aircraft to come off its revived production line since its predecessor company filed for bankruptcy and shut down in 2007. The very light jet–S/N 265–will officially be delivered to its customer, Fred Phillips, in the coming weeks after three “minor” STCs are approved by the FAA.
AINalerts » October 22, 2013
Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimassa Fujino said yesterday at NBAA 2013 that the HondaJet would be certified by the end of 2014, as long as the HF120 engine was certified by the end of this year. Terry Sharp, president of GE Honda Aero Engines, said this timeline is doable–“We have completed all the certification testing on the engine and last week we submitted the final two reports to the FAA. Our confidence is high that we will have the type certificate by the end of this year.”
Viking Air delivered the first Viking Twin Otter Series 400 equipped with a custom executive interior from Wipaire of South Saint Paul, Minn., to an undisclosed customer. Wipaire is an authorized Viking service center that offers maintenance, repair, VIP cabin completions and painting services. The Wipaire-outfitted aircraft features an executive club-four seating arrangement with an additional 12 standard seats. It is also equipped with Wipline 13000 amphibious floats and features an aquatic-themed custom airbrushed graphical paint scheme.
Tamarack Aerospace and Cessna Aircraft signed an agreement this week at NBAA 2013 under which Cessna will market, sell and install Tamarack’s active winglets for the CitationJet family through the CJ3. The winglets provide more range, increased useful loads and improved high-and-hot performance, while simultaneously improving fuel economy.
Universal Weather and Aviation has enhanced its free iPad app, Universal Mobile, with the integration of its UVTripPlanner tool. The system now provides the same data that is used and audited daily by the Houston-based company, such as information on worldwide airports, FBOs, ground handlers, in-flight caterers, ground transport handlers and hotels. Among its utilities, the app allows operators to check fuel pricing and uplift requests through the UVair fuel program.
Acknowledging the hardships business aviation has faced over the past few years, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen said this morning at the NBAA Convention opening session that the industry’s investment in the future never ceased, resulting in the new products announced this week at the show in Las Vegas.
The business aircraft resale market continues to stall as the sluggish pace of activity seen in the second quarter has persisted, according to Amstat’s business aviation market update, released this week at NBAA 2013. “We were disappointed with the second-quarter transaction performance and were hoping for a better third quarter,” said Andrew Young, general manager of the business aviation market data provider. “In general, transaction activity for business jets and turboprops did pick up in the third quarter and inventories were down–both good signs.
Beechcraft reported today a total of 48 deliveries in the third quarter. A breakout of the numbers showed 38 civil deliveries in the quarter, a healthy increase compared with 32 civil deliveries in the second quarter. The total of 163 civil and military deliveries for the first nine months of 2013 is a 47-percent increase over the 111 total deliveries for the same period in 2012.
AOPA Insurance–a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association–is expanding its offerings to cover business aviation. “FBOs are our primary targets with our new commercial insurance offering. Beyond that, we are ready to insure corporate flight departments to a very high limit of liability,” company president Bill Snead told AIN.
GE Aviation is aiming to expand its Business and General Aviation business to $1 billion in revenues by 2020 from the current $300 million level. This is already significantly up from the $150 million it turned over in 2008. Brad Mottier, vice president and general manager of the unit, said $1 billion has been the goal he has headed for since 2008. The challenge, he believes, is to right-size products from the larger GE Aviation into engine technology for business aircraft “that the market can afford.”