While few seemed quite sure what to expect from the postponed NBAA Convention, those who made the trip to New Orleans last month generally expressed satisfaction with the number of attendees and the atmosphere of the show overall. The rescheduled event was held December 12 to 14 inside the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center as the rest of the city was launching into its unique brand of holiday revelry.
Airbus announced at last month’s NBAA show the World Ranger, a corporate version of the four-engine A340-200. “It is important to note this is not an ACJ2 but rather an entirely different aircraft based on the A340 with a range in excess of 8,000 nautical miles,” said Richard Gaona, Airbus’ v-p corporate jetliner.
Airbus Industrie has added the Honeywell Pegasus FMS to the options list in the Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ). The acceptance also includes use of Pegasus equipment in the A319, A320 and A321 single-aisle airliners and follows a similar agreement reached last year for use of the Honeywell FMS in the A330 and A340.
Qatar Airways is planning to use its new Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) to replace a pair of Falcon 900s used by the government and ruling family. It will also be operated on European summer-season VIP scheduled service to destinations such as London; Geneva; and Nice, France; as well as for charter or wet-lease operations in the winter.
The Airbus A400M military airlifter will be ceremonially rolled out on June 26, but the plan to make a first flight by “the end of the summer” seems overly optimistic, unless rapid progress can be made with the TP400 engine testbed, which has not yet flown. About 50 hours are scheduled for this modified C-130, carrying one of the four big turboprops that will power the A400M.
Epic Aircraft continues development of its all-composite turboprop singles and very light jets, though without the $200 million in funding Indian billionaire Dr. Vijay Mallya pledged last September at the NBAA Convention.
Menzies Aviation Group employees Dennis Blair and Sylvie Greleau were two of the casualties on American Airlines Flight 587, the Airbus A300 that crashed in Queens, N.Y., last month. Blair, 55, was Menzies’ managing director and senior vice president for the Americas. Greleau, 40, was director of sales and marketing for the Americas. Greleau worked for Ogden Ground Services, before its sale to Menzies Aviation Group in November last year.
EVAS Worldwide, an affiliate of Ramsey, N.J.-based Aircraft Services Group, said its $11,950 Emergency Vision Assurance System (EVAS) personal cockpit smoke-displacement unit received certification for use in the Challenger 600, 601 and 604. The company expects STCs to be awarded soon on the Global Express and King Air series. Approvals are also pending for the Falcon 50 and 50EX, Beechjet and Airbus A320.
The NTSB is examing the structural integrity of the all-composite tail of the Airbus A300-600 that crashed November 12 after liftoff from New York JFK Airport. During an encounter with wake turbulence, the tail of the twin-engine airliner tore away virtually intact. Today’s business jets use a wide variety of composite parts, including Raytheon Aircraft, whose Premier I has an all-composite fuselage.
Avolar, the newly formed business aviation subsidiary of UAL Corp., reached an agreement with Airbus to market and/or manage, but not buy, up to 15 Airbus Corporate Jetliners under a program to be operated separately from Avolar’s fractional-ownership program for smaller business jets. Terms also permit Avolar customers to purchase an ACJ. The executive twinjets will be crewed by mainline United Airlines pilots.