Calgary-based WestJet announced on May 1 that it has signed a letter of intent to buy 20 Bombardier Q400s and take options on another 25. Expected to launch a new regional airline in the second half of 2013, WestJet continues to work on a six-year plan for regional service from various hubs in Canada. Its route network consisting of more than 70 destinations now includes hubs in Calgary and Toronto, as well as so-called focus cities of Edmonton, Winnipeg and Vancouver.
Airbus and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have reached the final stage of consultation over a final fix for both retrofit and so-called forward fit of replacement wing rib feet for the A380 following discoveries of cracks in a relatively small number of the parts by several operators.
Hawker Beechcraft filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 on May 3, and if activity at the recent European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition is any indication, the Wichita aircraft manufacturer may be down, but it is definitely not out.
On a warm morning in the Texas hill country about 70 miles west of San Antonio, Mark Huffstutler pushed the thrust levers forward and launched a re-engined Hawker Beechcraft 400XPR into the cloudy skies. The first flight on May 3 was the culmination of 14 months of engineering and mechanical work, much of it done by Huffstutler’s Sierra Industries, a modification shop located at Garner Field Airport in Uvalde, Texas.
Global businesses need global travel solutions. For many international business travelers that solution is an extra-long-range business jet.
Several examples of such jets are on display here at EBACE, as mockup or real aircraft. Imagine walking up the airstair, stepping inside, sitting down in the cabin and thinking what it would be like to be on this airplane for 12 or 13 hours. You might wonder, “Could I sleep in this seat? Will there be a flight attendant? How many other passengers would there be? Do companies really fly this jet to its maximum range?”
Northrop Grumman gained a $1.7 billion (€1.2 billion) contract to supply five Block 40 Global Hawk UAVs with advanced multi-platform radar technology insertion program (MP-RTIP) radars for the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) program.
Dassault announced yesterday that it expects the Falcon 2000S will beat its initial performance numbers. To date, the test aircraft has logged more than 300 flight hours in some 130 flights and opened up the full flight envelope. “The last phase of the campaign revealed that low-speed performance will be significantly better than targeted figures, up to 10 percent for landing distances,” Dassault said.
Pilatus Aircraft has appointed Air Charter Services (ACSPL) as its official PC-12 sales and service center in India. The designation makes ACSPL responsible for India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Burma and Thailand. The New Delhi-based facility will manage aircraft sales and carry out all aspects of PC-12 maintenance and warranty work. “Semoun Jolly, director of ACSPL, already owns three PC-12s. He knows and appreciates the aircraft’s outstanding flexibility and flying credentials,” said Fred Muggli, head of PC-12 sales and marketing at Pilatus.
Bell Helicopter announced at EBACE that it completed deliveries of six of its newest helicopters in Europe over the past month. Three Bell 407GXs, the first of its kind in Europe, were delivered in Belgium, Denmark and, most recently, Iceland. Bell also shipped three Bell 429s in Russia and Ukraine. Bell showcased a Bell 429 medium twin outfitted for corporate missions at the European show. The helicopter on display is midway through a European demo tour, with upcoming stops in Belgium, Czech Republic the UK and Serbia.
Bell Helicopters (Stand 7091) has delivered six of its newest aircraft–Bell 407GX and Bell 429–in Europe and Ukraine, it announced at EBACE. “The Bell 407GX is attracting interest from corporate, private and utility operators due to its speed, range and state-of-the-art Garmin G100H flight deck, which maximizes pilot situational awareness,” said Danny Maldonado, executive vice president of commercial sales and marketing.