To great fanfare, Pilatus rolled out its new PC-24 “Super Versatile” jet on Friday at its home airfield of Buochs, near the town of Stans in central Switzerland. The prototype of the twin-engine business/utility jet was pulled across the runway by 24 horses before coming to rest on a giant Swiss flag painted on the apron, in front of a grandstand with 1,000 VIPs and another 24,000 people.
Embraer plans to begin assembling its new midsize Legacy 450 and 500 business jets at its Melbourne, Fla., campus by 2016. The company will break ground soon on a major new plant expansion at its Melbourne facility and expects to add 600 more jobs when it is fully up and running. Embraer already assembles Phenom 100s and 300s at the Florida facility. Meanwhile, Embraer Executive Jets senior vice president Jose Eduardo Costas added that certification of the fly-by-wire Legacy 500 is “imminent.”
Hartzell Propeller will supply new lightweight propellers to Piaggio Aero Industries for its third-generation Avanti twin turboprop–the Avanti EVO. For the EVO, Hartzell worked with Piaggio to develop highly swept, wide-chord aluminum alloy propellers that, when combined with changes to the nacelle and engine exhaust geometry, reduce external noise by five dBA, a 68-percent improvement. Cabin noise is also lowered by 20 percent, or one dBA, thanks in large part to Hartzell’s five-blade scimitar design.
Aircraft maintenance plan provider JSSI is pushing harder into the red-hot helicopter market. The company recently hired Ray Weiser as its new helicopter program specialist and will soon unveil several programs aimed at the helicopter market, according to CEO Neil Book.
North Sea helicopter operators expect to deploy improved emergency breathing systems (EBS) progressively, beginning in the middle of this month, to comply with CAA rules issued to improve the safety of offshore helicopter operations in the North Sea. The Helicopter Safety Steering Group (HSSG) expected the first batch of approved equipment to arrive soon after the UK CAA approved the system, which had not taken place as of early last month. Training will be based on a classroom session lasting a maximum of 90 minutes.
Bell Helicopter is applying systems designed for its 525 Relentless commercial medium twin to the V-280 Valor third-generation tiltrotor technology demonstrator it is developing for the U.S. Army as part of its Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Program for Future Vertical Lift (FVL).
The European Commission (EC) on July 9 officially launched the Clean Sky 2 joint technology initiative, a €4 billion ($5.44 billion) follow-on to the ongoing Clean Sky research program. It includes a number of projects for business aircraft–both turboprops and jets–as well as regional turboprops and rotorcraft.
The 2014 Farnborough International Airshow (July 14-20) was a dynamic and captivating edition of the long-running biennial event–packed with high-octane sales activity, novelty and a touch of controversy. As of press time, the show was on track to surpass all the main metrics for the 2012 event, with more than twice the volume of announced sales; more than 100,000 visitors on the five trade days; and approximately 1,500 exhibitors (of which 26 percent were newcomers and 15 percent had expanded their presence).
The results of this year’s AIN Product Support Survey are in, and some big changes have upended last year’s rankings.