Wheels Up, the U.S.-based aircraft access membership program scheduled to begin service this November, has named Gama Charters of Stratford, Conn., a subsidiary of Farnborough, UK-based Gama Group, as operator of its U.S.-based fleet of Beechcraft King Air 350i turboprops.
Piper has selected Hartzell Engine Technologies to provide its I-series cabin heater and ES-series 24-volt/100-amp alternators as standard fit on new Garmin G1000-equipped Seminole piston-twin trainers.
“To support the electrical needs of the latest Piper Seminole’s advanced avionics and systems, Piper Aircraft chose to upgrade it to 24-volt capability,” said Hartzell Engine Technologies president Mike Disbrow.
Thales is here at the NBAA show (Booth No. N216) exhibiting its Avionics 2020 flight deck demonstrator, a human-machine interface designed to preserve pilots’ cognitive resources, thus enabling them to focus on what they are good at: making decisions. In other words, according to its promoters, this is a cockpit designed for airmanship. The development schedule of Avionics 2020 should suit a business jet program aiming at a 2020 entry into service.
This month Bombardier commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Learjet’s first flight even as the company struggles to launch a larger new flagship, the Model 85, and switch to composite airframe construction. Since 1963, Learjet has become one of the world’s most iconic brands, often generically misused to describe any make/model of private jet, and a conspicuous sign of affluence.
Eurocopter has announced that its American Eurocopter subsidiary will upgrade its Columbus, Miss. facility, allowing it to serve as a final assembly and test site for the AS350. The AS350 work will offset a reduction in assembly operations on the UH-72A Lakota military helicopter and also help Eurocopter increase AS350 sales in the U.S. The model is the bestselling civil helicopter in the U.S.
Yukon, Okla.-based repair and refurbishment center Legacy Aviation Services (Booth No. C9432) hired Russ Hampton as a service technician at its Clarence E. Page Municipal Airport facility. Hampton has more than 25 years of maintenance and technical experience on a wide variety of turboprop and jet aircraft, including the Twin Commander series, one airframe in which the company specializes.
Hartzell Propeller (Booth No. C7630) has witnessed the market for its aluminum–and, increasingly, carbon-composite–propeller blades and assemblies change markedly over the past five years as the global aviation industry continues a long and deliberate rebound from the recent global economic downturn. While it would be a stretch to say the shift was a welcome one for the Piqua, Ohio-based company, Hartzell executive vice president J.J. Frigge seems invigorated by the path his company has taken in the years since.
Cessna Aircraft painted a picture of its mixed fortunes at its NBAA press conference yesterday, with CEO Scott Ernest saying the company was making good progress on its marquis development programs–the new Citation Latitude and Longitude–while acknowledging problems with single-engine piston products, and continuing quarterly financial losses.
Flexjet, which will soon be owned by Directional Aviation Capital, doubled its firm order for Learjet 85s yesterday at NBAA 2013. This latest transaction puts the Flexjet order at 115 firm aircraft from Bombardier (Booth No. N5731)– including 60 Learjet 85s–and options for 150 more. If all of the options are exercised, this brings the order value total to $5.6 billion
Embraer Executive Jets is making a splash here in Las Vegas, having brought its entire industry-spanning product line to the static display, including its new Legacy 500, which is making its first North American show appearance, and the Lineage 1000E extended-range version of its fleet flagship, which is sporting the manufacturer’s new branded paint scheme.