The resilience of general aviation was never more in evidence than at EAA’s AirVenture in late July, when an estimated 750,000 airplane buffs made the annual pilgrimage to east central Wisconsin for the 50th time.
As startling as the absence of current airliners from the Boeing stable was the gaping void created by the lack of any of Russia’s fearsome fighters in the flying display. Many observers felt that the show was the poorer for the lack of the thrust-vectoring wonders of Mikoyan and Sukhoi.
Boeing’s number-crunchers published their long-awaited new commercial market outlook at the Farnborough show–the first full-blown revision of airliner demand since September 11. The new forecast anticipates 24,000 new airplane deliveries over the next 20 years, which is actually 500 units more than the U.S. airframer had envisioned in its 2001 report.
Aircraft Completion Management, a new company established by completion and refurb veterans Mike Herchick and Ron Gero, opened for business in July to offer “precise and comprehensive guidance of aircraft through the completion and refurbishment process.” The company is based in Richmond Heights, Ohio. Before setting up Aircraft Completion Management, Herchick managed large aircraft completions for Flight Options.
Sales of Gulfstream business jets in the first quarter increased 17 percent year-over-year, Nicholas Chabraja, chairman and CEO of parent company General Dynamics, said yesterday during an investor conference call. According to Chabraja, backlog at the Savannah, Ga. aircraft manufacturer climbed $200 million in the quarter, and that includes only sales of in-production aircraft.
After a long wait, Embraer’s Legacy business jet received European Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) certification on July 5. FAA approval, expected some time ago but delayed by the events of September 11, was expected during the following few weeks, according to the company, but had yet to surface at press time.
The world’s most commercially successful line of regional jets added a pair of new blemishes to its technical record late this spring, when both wholly owned Delta Connection subsidiaries confronted some unsettling moments during scheduled CRJ operations.
The Hawker 750 is now entering service, following FAA certification in February, and thus drops off the In The Works list. The 750 is Hawker Beechcraft’s second recent derivative of the Hawker series; the first was the 900XP, certified last August. The 750 adds a 32-cu-ft heated external baggage compartment by removing the fuselage fuel tank, but still offers NBAA IFR range of 2,116 nm with the standard eight-passenger Hawker cabin.
Very light jet. Super-midsize. Ultra-long-range. Bizliner. These are just some of the colorful names that marketers, analysts and aviation journalists have dreamed up in an attempt to pigeon hole a variety of business jets into more or less clear-cut market niches. But who gets to decide which category best suits a specific aircraft model? And where do the cutoffs lie?
When the going gets tough, the tough launch airplane programs. Banking on better times beyond the currently cloudy economy, and despite depressed business-airplane shipments by the Canadian airframer last year, Bombardier has formally launched the Global 5000 after first introducing the program last October.