Williams International of Walled Lake, Mich., expects to receive FAA certification soon for two of its new turbofan engines. U.S. approval is anticipated this quarter for the FJ33, a 1,200-pound-thrust engine that has been selected to power several very light jets still under development, including the Adam A700, Safire Jet, Diamond D-Jet and Aerostar FJ-100.
With six locations in the Northeast, Groton, Conn.-based Columbia Air Services celebrates 25 years in business this year with some landmark developments. It’s new 20,000-sq-ft hangar and 6,000-sq-ft terminal building at Groton-New London Airport (GON) is already in service, and will be dedicated later this spring.
The latest Honeywell Aerospace business aviation outlook, released yesterday at the NBAA Convention in Orlando, predicts deliveries of new business jets this year will reach 745, up from 589 last year. Next year, deliveries might exceed 800 bizjets. Looking at the 10-year period through 2015, the forecast predicts deliveries of about 9,900 new business jets, equating to $156 billion in sales.
Call them what you want–very light jets (VLJs), compact jets, minijets, microjets, personal jets or even Barbie jets–they’re no longer “paper” airplanes. First deliveries of certified VLJs are less than a year away, if Eclipse Aviation adheres to its plan to begin deliveries of its Model 500 next March.
Englewood, Colo.-based Adam Aircraft expects FAA certification of its centerline-thrust A500 piston twin in the first quarter of this year and first deliveries by March, according to a company spokesman. Last year at this time the company was estimating certification in the second quarter of 2003; this was subsequently revised to the fall of 2003. “There’s no one thing in particular that caused the delay,” a spokesman said.
Englewood, Colo.-based Adam Aircraft plans to build its A500 piston twin and A700 very light twinjet in Ogden, Utah. The company reported that it leased 22,000 sq ft of Kemp Jet Services’ property at Kemp Ogden Airport. Certification and customer deliveries of the A700 are scheduled to begin next year.
In preparation for introducing its A700 very light twinjet late next year, Adam Aircraft has teamed up with Chicago-based JSSI to offer owners an hourly maintenance plan.
Cessna, Eclipse and Adam Aircraft are all confident that their respective very light jets will be certified this year. According to Cessna chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton, the Citation Mustang is on track for FAA approval in the fall, though he hinted that the VLJ could get its papers a little earlier.
About 30 years ago, a U.S. executive jet manufacturer was upset by a pilot’s handling report that dubbed his product “a businessman’s fighter.” The company’s concern was that enthusiastic but inexperienced pilots might take liberties with the aircraft, with decidedly unpredictable results.
Adam Aircraft president and COO Joe Walker is about to appoint a factory direct sales representative to promote sales in Europe and sees this region as having great potential for the A500 piston twin and A700 AdamJet. To encourage potential customers, the company has developed a guaranteed maintenance program for both types, offering cost per hour rates for the first three years (except fuel prices).