Asia is set to get its first full fractional ownership program by year-end. Bangalore, India-based Aviators expects to begin operations with three Cessna Citation Excels and three Pilatus PC-12 turboprop singles during the fourth quarter of this year.
Aviation International News » March 2003
Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) has admitted to the beginning of studies intended to result in a new family of light turbine engines derived from the basic PW200 core and intended to power an as-yet unannounced family of new light helos.
Just when you think everything that can be done with the basic SEI Industries Bambi bucket has been done, the Delta, British Columbia, Canada-based company comes up with some surprises. For those who don’t know, the Bambi Bucket is the water-dropping device of choice among airborne firefighters, especially when it comes to plonking large amounts of water or other flame retardant precisely onto forest blazes.
Honeywell is developing an advanced growth version of the LTS101 turboshaft. Designated the LTS101-950, it will maintain the same general shape and size as the present LTS101 but will provide up to 23 percent more power for takeoff and a 35-percent increase in power for single-engine conditions, thanks to an improved compressor.
While pledging to retain its North American headquarters in Grand Prairie, Texas, French engine maker Turbomeca has announced plans to open a new service, support and maintenance center in Mirabel, Canada, just a few scant miles from Bell Helicopter’s major civil manufacturing center in the same town. The new center will support the needs of the roughly 300 Turbomeca-made powerplants in service throughout Canada.
Carson Helicopters of Perkasie, Pa., has been granted FAA certification for new main rotor blades for the Sikorsky S-61. The design incorporates two airfoils and 12 degrees of twist, giving the venerable Sikorsky workhorse 2,000 pounds more lift in a hover and adding 15 knots to the cruise speed compared with the standard metal blades at the same power settings. Carson has signed a contract with NASA for exclusive use of the airfoils.
Bombardier last month delivered the first production example of its newest regional jet, the CRJ900, to Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group. Scheduled to fly for the first time under the America West Express livery on April 27 between Phoenix and Los Angeles, the 80-seat jet gives Mesa the largest-capacity aircraft in the U.S. regional airline business.
Continental Airlines and Brazil’s Embraer last month agreed to defer deliveries on 60 fifty-seat ERJ-145XRs jets by as much as two years, sending stock prices of both companies sharply downward. According to the new schedule, Embraer will deliver to ExpressJet 36 aircraft instead of 48 in 2003 and 21 aircraft instead of 36 in 2004.
As Atlantic Southeast Airlines president Skip Barnette maintains, few established companies emerge from a five-year, 25-percent annual growth plan untouched by organizational turmoil and swollen debt-to-capital ratios. So how has ASA, four years into just such a plan, maintained its reputation for fiscal discipline and operational performance while doubling its capacity since Barnette assumed control of the company in 1999?
• France’s EADS’ Socata, builder of the TBM 700 turboprop single, has confirmed that it may develop a light twinjet. A spokesman said that marketing and feasibility studies are still at an early stage and that it would be premature to outline a possible timetable. The spokesman told AIN that the first priority is to prove sufficient demand for a new light jet and to ensure that adequate investment funds would be available for the program.