The FAA issued an airworthiness directive [AD 2014-03-11] on February 19 for Bell 204B helicopters requiring an inspection of the tail-rotor cable assembly for an incorrectly machined body. This AD was prompted by a report from Bell that a defective body on the cable prevents the barrel assembly from fully engaging in the body cavity. The AD, which becomes effective on March 26, is intended to prevent disengagement of the cable from the barrel, failure of the tail-rotor pitch control and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.
Every year since the start of the great economic downturn of 2008, the business aviation industry has watched business jet deliveries dwindle and searched for signs that the market might have finally hit bottom. The downward slide was finally arrested last year, according to year-end numbers released last month by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. For the first time since 2008, worldwide deliveries of business jets were higher than the previous year, with manufacturers handing over 678 jets last year, six aircraft (1 percent) more than in 2012.
Aeria Luxury Interiors, the private jet business that ST Aerospace launched at the Singapore Airshow two years ago, is up and running in San Antonio, Texas, and has secured its first order for full completion of a green aircraft.
For the third successive year in recent times, the Asian Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (ABACE)–which is organized by NBAA in conjunction with the Shanghai Airport Authority, the Asian Business Aviation Association and the Shanghai Exhibition Center–will return to Shanghai’s Hongqiao Airport. It will run from April 14 to 17 at Shanghai Hawker Pacific’s Business Aviation Centre FBO, and will feature a 43,000-sq-ft (4,000-sq-m) hangar, a 52,000-sq-ft (4,800-sq-m) exhibitor pavilion and extensive ramp area for the static display.
“Yuan Fang, what do you think?” goes the catchphrase from Chinese TV’s equivalent to Sherlock Holmes. Amazing sleuth Di Renjie depends on his assistant, Yuan Fang, for sound counsel, since he never knows the answer himself.
It’s an apt way to approach what is happening in the business aviation market in the greater China region today. The sector remains elusive for the big manufacturers and has yet to deliver the huge prizes promised a few short years ago.
Argus International’s new Avmosys operations software has been selected by the Wheels Up aircraft access membership program “to manage customers’ flight-related activity,” according to Argus. First to sign up for Avmosys was charter/management firm ACP Jets, and charter broker Apollo Jets was the first company to implement the system fully, according to Andy Balser, Argus International’s Avmosys product manager.
Russia’s Sukhoi Civil Aircraft has long claimed its Superjet 100 offers a level of technical sophistication that surpasses that of any Western regional jet on the market. Now, a new funding system state-controlled Vnesheconombank (VEB) devised with Sukhoi to support export sales of the Superjet 100 promises to place the Russian regional jet on equal footing with Western models in terms of financing cost as well, according to VEB deputy chairman Alexander Ivanov.
Vertical lift UAV developer CybAero said the Swedish Agency for Non-Proliferation and Export Controls approved export permits for a €5.5 million ($7.5 million) order a Chinese customer placed for its APID 60 unmanned helicopter, the company’s largest order.
Embraer delivered 119 executive jets worth $1.64 billion last year–up by 26 percent on 2012’s $1.29 billion–and nearly half of them (53) were handed over in the fourth quarter. The whole-year deliveries broke down as 90 light jets (60 Phenom 300s and 30 Phenom 100s) and 29 large jets (21 Legacy 600/650s and eight Lineage 1000/shuttles), and in the fourth quarter the tally was 38 light jets and 15 large jets.
The U.S. Export-Import Bank recently topped $1 billion in support of American-made business airplane and helicopter financings since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2012. In a deal that drove it past this milestone, the bank approved a guarantee of a $300 million loan extended by Apple Bank for Savings to Minsheng Financial Leasing Co. of Tianjin, China, to finance the purchase of eight business jets from Gulfstream Aerospace. At EBACE 2012, the Ex-Im Bank announced it would provide support for at least $1 billion in business airplane and helicopter financings by the end of 2014.