Shenzhen-based Avion Pacific sold seven Sikorsky S-92s and nine S-76Ds, as well as half a dozen Beechcraft King Airs, in China last year, it announced this week at ABACE 2014. The helicopters will be delivered by year-end. Eight of the S-76s are slated for Chinese government use and one for a private customer. Six of the S-92s will enter oil-and-gas industry service, and one was purchased by a private customer. Avion Pacific’s 50 employees serve a variety of aviation segments in China, with a particular focus on utility helicopters.
Beechcraft King Air
Beidahuang General Aviation of Harbin, China, signed for a Beechcraft King Air C90GTx today at ABACE 2014, an order that was brokered through Textron Beechcraft’s channel partner in China, Avion Pacific. The C90GTx will join a fleet of nearly 90 business aircraft operated by Beidahuang General Aviation, which is a subsidiary of Chinese state-owned agribusinesses conglomerate Beidahuang Group. Beidahuang General Aviation plans to use the turboprop twin for personnel transport and aerial survey. The company’s fleet of helicopters and airplanes logs more than 10,000 hours per year.
Nextant Aerospace (Booth P713) has expanded its marketing reach with the appointment of newly formed Nextant Pacific as its dealer in the Asia Pacific region. Nextant Pacific is headquartered in Sydney, Australia, and was founded in February by managing director John Oppenheim, who previously was sales manager for Hawker Pacific.
Textron Aviation subsidiary Beechcraft is commemorating the 50th anniversary of its King Air this week at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. The current-production King Airs–the 350i, 250 and C90GTx–are on static display at Beechcraft’s exhibit area along the flight line, flanked by the Baron G58 piston twin and Bonanza G36 piston single. On Wednesday at 2 p.m., the company will celebrate the anniversary with cake, refreshments and giveaways at its static display.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of JSSI, a milestone the company will celebrate with receptions at this year’s EBACE and NBAA shows and an anniversary event at its headquarters in Chicago.
“It’s important to us that we get to say thank you face-to-face,” said Neil Book, JSSI president and CEO. “This is a milestone that we’re all proud of. We’re coming off our strongest year in history.”
Every year since the start of the great economic downturn of 2008, the business aviation industry has watched business jet deliveries dwindle and searched for signs that the market might have finally hit bottom. The downward slide was finally arrested last year, according to year-end numbers released last month by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. For the first time since 2008, worldwide deliveries of business jets were higher than the previous year, with manufacturers handing over 678 jets last year, six aircraft (1 percent) more than in 2012.
Yukon, Oklahoma-based maintenance provider Legacy Aviation has doubled-down on its investment in supporting the Beechcraft King Air line. Company president and CEO R.J. Gomez said, “Our market research indicates that nearly 600 King Airs are based within a 500-mile radius of our facility.
Swiss MRO and FBO specialist Air Service Basel has received its maintenance approval certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands. Air Service Basel is also a Beechcraft authorized service center for King Airs. CEO Claudio Lasagni said the CAACI approval complements existing EASA Part 145 and FAA repair station approvals held by Air Service Basel. “By adding this approval, we meet the increasing demand of our customers for flexible line and base maintenance services,” he said.
Aviation Fabricators (AvFab) has received Mexican approval for the installation of its STC-approved King Air aft jump seat kits on all Beechcraft King Airs. AvFab received EASA approval in April 2010. AvFab also has approvals from the U.S., Brazil and Indonesia. GR Lowe, AvFab’s CEO, told AIN, “We provide the STC, seat and all hardware.
This week Beechcraft posted its fourth-quarter and end-of-year results, showing the significant increases that brought 2013 to a successful close. The figures were welcome to the company as it ended its first year of trading as a stand-alone entity, prior to the expected acquisition by Textron that is due to be completed in the first half of this year. The Wichita, Kansas-based company delivered 205 civil aircraft in 2013, compared with 125 in 2012. Adding to 2013’s figure was the delivery of 34 military trainer aircraft.