The Learjet 85, the first all-composite Part 25 business jet, remains on track for certification and entry into service next year, according to Bombardier. “Four test aircraft are in various stages of production,” the company noted, and shipment of the first pressure vessel from Bombardier’s factory in Querétaro, Mexico, to the final-assembly plant in Wichita was imminent (in mid-July). At the Querétaro factory, technicians completed construction of the first Learjet 85’s wing internal structure and the wing was moved to the final-assembly position for installation of the wing plank.
The Embraer Phenom 100 light jet recently received type certificate validation by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer announced today. “Embraer has been strengthening its market position in China’s executive aviation market over the past few years,” said Embraer China president Guan Dongyuan. “The CAAC’s certificate for the Phenom 100 is great news for Embraer and prospective customers. With the approval, the company can deliver copies of the eight-seat jets to Chinese customers.
MRO provider Vector Aerospace has been appointed a Pratt & Whitney Canada designated overhaul facility (DOF) for the PW150A turboprop and plans to have an MRO facility in the Asia-Pacific region fully operational by the middle of next year. The company, which has engine MRO facilities in Prince Edward Island & British Columbia, the UK, Africa and France, is a P&WC designated overhaul facility supporting the P&WC PT6A/PT6T/JT15D/PW100/PW305/PW306/PW307/PW308.
Yankee Pacific started with a single office in Tulsa, Okla., a little more than a decade ago. Today it consists of two main divisions. Jormac Aerospace in Clearwater, Fla., has a staff of about 80 and specializes in building cabin liner systems: sidewalls, under-floor structures, overheads, bulkheads and attach fittings. Cabin Innovations in Lewisville, Texas, specializes in custom cabinetry manufacturing, from the galley to the lavatory and points between.
Anticipating a recovery in business and executive helicopter sales, Eurocopter has begun investing in new cabin designs.
According to Patrice Royer, head of business and private aviation sales, the best-selling models in that segment are the EC130 light single, EC145 light twin and EC155 medium twin. Royer figures the additional cost of a business or executive cabin accounts for approximately 10 to 15 percent of the final price.
With leasing companies taking positions on Boeing’s new 737 Max, the Asia-Pacific region holds the key to large narrowbody orders, according to Boeing’s senior vice president of sales for Asia Pacific and India, Dinesh Keskar. “We have three potential customers in India and more in Asia [that can take the Max] on lease or direct buy: Jet Airways, SpiceJet and even Air India Express,” he told AIN. “[The Max] can go 500 additional miles, which will be a big boon for the Asian market.”
Two deteriorated locknuts were largely to blame for last year’s P-51 crash at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nev., according to an August 27 report by the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB). The accident killed the pilot and 10 spectators, injuring 60 others. The report said the bad locknuts allowed the trim-tab attachment screws to loosen, initiating a crack in one.
For the past two years, the business aviation industry has pondered when the oft-mentioned bottom of the trough in aircraft deliveries might actually be reached. In a recent JetNet iQ survey, half of the respondents believe deliveries have already hit bottom, while more than 25 percent see the industry as showing some upward momentum at last.
Preliminary Report: Turboprop Crashes in Brazil
American Eurocopter’s blade shop in Grand Prairie, Texas, is a busy place. The 20 craftsmen repair and refurbish 1,000 helicopter main and tail rotor blades every year. That translates into 95 percent of all Eurocopter blade work in the U.S.
Much of the work is done by hand. “It is a slow process,” acknowledges shop manager Jim Tully. “It would be nice if we could find a way to go faster, but it has to be done the same way. With fiberglass, it wouldn’t take long to scrap out a blade completely” if a mistake were made.