The business aviation market’s shift toward larger aircraft continues, and the effect on the industry is growing, according to Teal Group’s latest annual business jet overview. “Last year saw a welcome but largely meaningless upturn, with an impressive 16.3-percent increase in deliveries by value,” said Teal vice president of analysis Richard Aboulafia. “But all of this growth came from large-cabin jets, particularly Gulfstream’s G650. All the smaller segments remained firmly stuck in first gear.”
Textron Aviation (Booth 6113), here for the first time since it integrated Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker, has a number of programs in development or just certified. The transition to a unified company is taking place in customer support, too, with maintenance technicians undergoing cross-training on all of each brand’s models. However, while Hawker jets continue to be supported, the company has no plan to produce any more aircraft under the brand, Textron Aviation president and CEO Scott Ernest said during a press conference on Tuesday.
Nextant Aerospace comes to EBACE with its “as-new” 400XTi remanufactured business jet to promote the aircraft and to highlight developments with its next product, the G90XT. Based on the Hawker Beechjet 400A/XP, the 400XTi is a zero-lifed machine that has been remanufactured with new engines, avionics, cabin and aerodynamic improvements to match or exceed its new-build competitors in terms of performance and cabin comfort, yet at around half the price.
Embraer Executive Jets (EEJ) tentatively takes the view that the business aviation market is maintaining what its president and CEO Marco Tulio defined as “mild recovery” during a press briefing at the Brazilian airframer’s headquarters in São José dos Campos. The company, which generated revenues for its group of $1.65 billion for its parent group last year, is forecasting a relatively conservative number of deliveries for 2014 with a projected total that is likely to be close to the 119 jets delivered last year.
A key success for Embraer Executive Jets (EEJ) has been the level of flight activity for its fleet in recent months. According to the Brazilian company, its aircraft outflew its main competitors in the last few months of 2013, based on available statistics from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Eurocontrol.
The impending service entry of Embraer’s Legacy 450s and 500s is set to complete the Brazilian manufacturer’s product portfolio–a sort of bridge of options connecting the Phenom 100 and 300 light jets with the larger Legacy 650 and Lineage 1000 models. During a pre-EBACE press visit to its São José dos Campos headquarters last month AIN found Embraer’s management in a confident mood, despite the fact that the overall fortunes of the business aviation market still seem somewhat mixed.
Ultra-long just became ultra-longer after Gulfstream president Larry Flynn revealed yesterday a new addition to its successful family in the shape of the G650ER. As its name suggests, the aircraft is an extended-range version of the G650 business jet. The G650’s already lengthy range figure of 7,000 nm is extended to a 7,500 nm at a cruise speed of Mach 0.85, which will make it the longest-ranged business jet in the world when it receives certification. Alternatively, the ER version can reach out a further 400 nm beyond the baseline G650 to fly 6,400 nm at Mach 0.9.
Progress on the HondaJet continues toward the model’s planned certification in the first quarter of next year, Honda Aircraft (Booth 6559) announced at EBACE 2014 on Monday. The first production HondaJet (S/N 11) is now in final assembly in the company’s manufacturing facility on Piedmont Triad International (PTI) Airport in Greensboro, N.C.
Gulfstream Aerospace announced an extended-range version of the G650–dubbed the G650ER–today at EBACE. Available for both new aircraft and as a retrofit for in-service aircraft, the approximately $2 million ER option stretches the G650’s 7,000-nm range to 7,500 nm at a cruise speed of Mach 0.85, making the G650ER the longest-range business jet when it is certified later this year. At Mach 0.90, the ER can reach 400 nm beyond the baseline G650 to fly 6,400 nm.
The Phenom 300 received EASA certification for steep-approach operation, which enables increased descent angles of up to 5.5 degrees, Embraer Executive Jets announced today at EBACE. “This certification enhances the Phenom 300’s operational flexibility,” said Embraer Executive Jets president and CEO Marco Túlio Pellegrini. “Our European customers will be particularly pleased to have access to airports such as London City.” The steep-approach feature is available immediately for EASA-configured Phenom 300s.