Bertrand Piccard, initiator of the Solar Impulse program, which is calling for a flight around the world with an aircraft powered exclusively by solar energy, showcased the state of his venture in a media conference at Duebendorf airfield near Zurich, Switzerland, last month.
Aviation International News » December 2007
In an industry faced with escalating prices and increasingly long lead times for aircraft deliveries, Project Phoenix has joined a growing number of companies offering a program to convert Canadair CRJ200 regional jets into executive aircraft.
New on the In The Works list this month is Bombardier’s latest midsize jet, the Learjet NXT. The company hasn’t provided many details about the program but did say the eight-seat airplane will offer speeds up to Mach 0.82 and an 1,800-nm range.
ATG’s Javelin program has entered a challenging period, a time when the company is ready to move forward with the program but does not have the resources to do so. “ATG has been diligently working behind the scenes to secure funding to sustain the Javelin development program through FAA certification,” the company said, and it has hired Citigroup to help secure private-equity funding.
Grob Aerospace chief test pilot Tore Reimers and test pilot Peter Weger made the first flight in the number three SPn carbon-fiber light jet on October 29. The airplane is equipped with most systems that will be used in the conforming version, according to Grob, including the production Liebherr Aerospace landing gear. The test pilots flew number three twice on October 29.
Customer feedback has prompted Adam Aircraft to redesign the cabin of its A700 very light jet to incorporate a combination of luxury automobile features with those found on larger business jets. The company partnered with Infusion Design to create a cabin that is lighter, more open and more stylish than the original.
Hawker Beechcraft opened its new sheet metal assembly facility in Chihuahua, Mexico. According to the Wichita-based airframer, the new light metal shop will support the company’s current and projected workforce needs and alleviate space constraints at its U.S. manufacturing facilities. Current plans for the operation call for an initial staff of 250 workers with a growth potential of up to 650 over the next five years.
Anyone with even a superficial knowledge of the stratospheric ambitions of the Middle East air transport sector generally, and mind-boggling wealth of the Arabian Gulf states in particular, had expected the 2007 Dubai Airshow to be an epic event. But it is doubtful that anyone outside the top tiers of the region’s airline managements really anticipated the volume of business announced over just five days (November 11 to 15).
Mansour Ojjeh and his brother Aziz are principals of Luxembourg-based TAG Group Holdings, which they inherited from their father, Akram Ojjeh, upon his death in 1991. Mansour is president and Aziz is vice president. Both are Swiss citizens, were educated in the U.S. and are now in their fifties. TAG is the acronym of Techniques d’Avant Garde.
A Cessna spokeswoman confirmed that the company plans to add 1,500 jobs next year, mostly in Wichita, largely due to growing sales of its Citation business jets. The Wichita-based manufacturer estimates that it will deliver 380 business jets, including 44 entry-level Mustangs, this year and expects to ship 470 twinjets, including nearly 100 Mustangs, next year.