Dassault Falcon Jet (Booth 2651) launched a new AOG (aircraft on ground) response program at NBAA 2014 in Orlando, Fla., yesterday. The customer-support program will use two company-owned Falcon 900s as rapid-response aircraft; one based at Teterboro in New Jersey and the other at Le Bourget in France.
Less than a week after the surprise launch of Gulfstream’s new G600 and G500 large-cabin jets, the company is showing off a full-size cabin and cockpit mockup of the G600 at the NBAA static display at Orlando Executive Airport. The G600 and the slightly smaller G500 were announced October 14 following a highly secretive five-year development program. A G500 already is assembled, taxiing and preparing for its first flight early next year.
Airbus unveiled here at NBAA 2014 a new VIP widebody cabin concept, Summit, for the A330-200, featuring a floor plan with an executive configuration in the front of the cabin and airline style seating in the rear. The Summit is intended to appeal to customers, such as governments, that need to transport both a few passengers in VIP accommodations along with a larger group, such as a trade delegation and journalists. However, Airbus (Booth 5099, static display) believes Summit may also be popular with private buyers in the Middle East who often travel in a similar manner.
Bombardier unveiled its new Challenger 650 here at NBAA 2014 in Orlando, Fla. The Montreal-headquartered airframer (Booth 281) is refreshing its classic, 10-passenger Challenger 600 series with redesigned cockpit and cabin interiors and optimized GE CF34-3B MTO turbofan engines that will provide additional takeoff thrust on a limited basis to facilitate shorter takeoff distances, greater payloads and more range from “challenging” airports during high/hot operations. Planned maximum range of the new model is 4,000 nm (with six passengers and standard NBAA IFR reserves).
When Rockwell Collins (Booth 3099) met with reporters before last year’s NBAA Convention, the avionics manufacturer couldn’t say much about its still-pending acquisition of airborne communications provider Arinc. That transaction–at $1.4 billion Rockwell Collins’ largest ever purchase–closed in late December. Now the company has plenty to say about its plans to grow with Arinc in the business aviation market.
In December the Comlux group is set to begin the expansion of the completions hangar at the Indianapolis, Ind. headquarters of its Comlux America division. The investment, announced at last year’s NBAA show, represents a leap of faith on the part of a company that believes rising demand for VIP completions of larger Airbus and Boeing aircraft will offset the relatively sluggish narrowbody sector.
Ten years on from NBAA’s 2004 show when Aerion first shared its dream of building a supersonic business jet, the company believes it is at last poised to turn this into reality with its new partner Airbus.
Dassault is preparing to fly two new Falcons–the Falcon 5X twinjet and the Falcon 8X trijet, both large-cabin business aircraft–in the first half of 2015. Five test aircraft are thus expected to grace Dassault’s Istres, France ramp by the end of next year. The 5,200-nm Falcon 5X was announced at the 2013 NBAA show and the 6,450-nm Falcon 8X a few months later at EBACE 2014.
In a deal that could be a preview for the red-hot helicopter leasing market, GE Capital Aviation Services (Gecas, Booth 2631) announced October 13 that it plans to acquire helicopter leasing firm Milestone Aviation Group for $1.775 billion. The deal is expected to close next year.
Gecas, the U.S. and Irish commercial aircraft financing and leasing business of GE Capital, has a fleet of approximately 1,600 owned and serviced aircraft with more than 230 airlines. Gecas also provides spare engine leasing, aviation consulting services and spare parts financing and management.
Nextant Aerospace is expecting to fly the first example of its G90XT early next month. The aircraft is a remanufactured Beechcraft C90 that integrates Garmin’s G1000 avionics, General Electric H75-100 engines and other new features into a re-lifed airframe. Nextant has been taking orders for the model since the book was opened at the EAA AirVenture show this summer and has recorded keen interest in the Americas.
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