The French Air Force accepted its first A400M airlifter on August 2, when an all-military crew flew the first production aircraft–MSN7–from Seville to its operational base at Orleans. The flight followed a July 31 declaration by the pan-European procurement agency OCCAR that Airbus Military had achieved the contracted specifications for the initial operating capability of the new airlifter.
At face value, the new PC-24 jet, launched by Pilatus in May, should be well suited to Latin America’s needs and aviation infrastructure–not least because of its versatile operational performance which enables it to operate from short and unprepared runways (2,690-foot balanced field length at max takeoff weight).
Brazilian aviation services giant Líder Aviação has announced it is the new “exclusive representative” in Brazil for Canadian business jet manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace.
While analysts are forecasting a slowdown for most Latin American economies in 2013, Bombardier–in its 20-year forecast released in June this year–expects to see an improved market in 2014 and believes that as early as 2016, the Canadian manufacturer will “surpass its prior delivery peak year of 2008.”
When Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff signed a decree in December last year permitting the private construction and operation of airports, it opened the way to major changes in the country’s airport infrastructure and operations, with São Paulo state as a primary launching pad.
Yesterday afternoon fractional operator PlaneSense took delivery of the milestone 1,200th PC-12 at its Portsmouth, N.H. headquarters, during a ceremony hosted by PlaneSense founder and CEO George Antoniadis. Pilatus Business Aircraft president and CEO Thomas Bosshard was among the guests.
Pilatus Aircraft Industry China, a joint venture between Pilatus and Beijing Tian Xing Jian Yu Science, opened on Monday in Chongqing. According to the joint-venture agreement, the $400 million project includes the “establishment of a company engaged in production, general assembly and maintenance of general aviation aircraft, and the relocation of PC-12 production lines for the Asia-Pacific region and PC-6 production lines from Switzerland to Chongqing.” The Chinese venture will not produce components for Pilatus military training aircraft, namely the PC-21, PC-9M and PC-7 Mk II.
Ljubljana, Slovenia-based business aircraft charter and management firm Elit’Avia opened an office in Accra, Ghana. It is currently managing four business aircraft for West African clients–two Bombardier Global 6000s and a Bombardier Global XRS in Nigeria and a Dassault Falcon 2000 in Ghana. Elit’Avia also expects to take delivery of a Gulfstream G550, Dassault Falcon 7X and Bombardier Challenger 605 for West African clients before year-end, which will almost double the size of its fleet in this region.
Nextant Aerospace recently introduced the 400XTi model as the latest evolution of the remanufactured light business jet. Compared to the 400XT, the new version (the “i” stands for innovation) introduces a number of improvements, including an all-new cabin that offers more space and reducednoise.
Concorde continues to expand its STC coverage, with several new international validations for popular battery STCs. The company’s batteries recently received EASA STC approval for the AgustaWestland AW109 and AW139; Dornier Do-328-100; multiple King Air models; and the MD Helicopters MD900. Transport Canada recently approved Concorde batteries for the Challenger 600-2B16, 2B19, 2C10 and 2D24; and Brazil’s ANAC OK’d them for the Sikorsky S-76A, B and C.