The process for deciding whether or how to buy a business aircraft is fraught with seemingly incalculable factors and subjective considerations. Over the past five years a small French company called Aero Capital claims to have developed an armory of software power and expertise that can give prospective buyers a higher degree of reassurance that they are making the right move.
Jet Aviation of Basel, Switzerland, and Aero-Dienst in Nuremberg, Germany, are now members of Bombardier’s network of authorized service facilities. Previously authorized for Learjets and Challengers, Jet Aviation is now approved for all Bombardier business aircraft; Aero-Dienst joins the list with a focus on Learjets and Challengers.
AirCell, one of the world’s leading airborne telecommunications service providers, has named Sergio Aguirre as its OEM sales manager. Aguirre brings more than 20 years of industry experience to the position, where he will manage the Colorado-based company’s business aviation OEM relationships.
Prior to joining AirCell, Aguirre held positions of increasing responsibility with Gulfstream Aerospace, Airshow and Securaplane.
Robert Harold Cooper, often referred to by those who knew him as “a true gentleman” and known to his friends at Gulfstream Aerospace as “Captain Bob,” died March 17 while playing golf with friends, as reported briefly in AIN’s April issue (page 108).
Gulfstream Aerospace broke ground on a new manufacturing site last month. The 306,000-sq-ft facility is the first since the company brought GII production to Savannah in 1967. The building is slated to be completed next April. Gulfstream also plans to use the existing service center for manufacturing after a new and larger service and support center is completed in late 2009.
Gulfstream introduced the G350 at the Asian Aerospace show in Singapore on February 23 and confirmed that the model would supersede the G300, as reported last month in AIN. The new Gulfstream model, slated to be certified by year-end and enter service in the fall next year, will be a shorter-range and less expensive airplane (3,800 nm and $27.5 million, respectively) than the G450.
Typically, changes at the top occur suddenly when business is down and it’s believed that new blood is needed to bring it back up. However, that is not the case at Gulfstream, where on April 9 Joseph Lombardo is scheduled to replace Bryan Moss as president of the company and executive v-p of parent General Dynamics’ (GD) aerospace business group.
Gulfstream Aerospace, which experienced a 12-percent increase in aircraft production last year compared with 2004 and expects that growth to continue, revealed plans yesterday for a $300 million expansion of manufacturing and service facilities at its Savannah, Ga. headquarters. This project, to unfold over the next seven years, includes a new 570,000-sq-ft service center–more than twice the size of the existing center.
Gulfstream Aerospace is claiming a record for a G150 flight from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Geneva on May 1. A company flight-test airplane completed the 1,575-nm journey in three hours and 40 minutes, flying at an average cruise speed of Mach 0.82 against an average headwind of 25 knots. The crew comprised Gulfstream midsize aircraft advanced programs chief pilot Scott Evans and Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) senior test pilot Yoram Geva.
Gulfstream Aerospace president Bryan Moss had hard numbers here at the EBACE show yesterday as evidence of business aviation’s improving fortunes. The Savannah, Georgia-based manufacturer plans to deliver 111 green aircraft this year and 127 next year, versus 89 last year. By some measures those are not big numbers, but to Gulfstream, which builds some of the highest value aircraft in the industry, they indicate a market in fine health.