Some 30 operators are now evaluating executive and corporate shuttle versions of the Fokker 100 twinjet (the F100EJ and F100CS, respectively), according to Fokker Services–a subsidiary of the Stork group that bought the assets of the bankrupt Dutch airframer and is marketing the converted airliners at prices ranging from $11 million to $12.5 million. The airplanes are also available for lease through UK-based Aravco.
Boeing Business Jet
In collaboration with TAG Aircraft Interiors, Italian design house Gianni Versace of Milan continues to move into the business aviation cabin. The two companies joined forces in April last year and at the NBAA Convention that year introduced a prototype executive seat.
An STC for after-production installation of the auxiliary fuel tanks for the Boeing Business Jet 2 is expected this month, about three months later than originally planned. PATS of Columbia, Md., is doing the aux tank installation in addition to BBJ2 winglet installations at its Georgetown, Del. facility.
When Peter Campbell was managing the interior completion of a BBJ2 for a client, he became concerned about the expensive blended wood flooring and leather paneling inside the main cabin door. So he made a sketch of an awning attached to the top of the BBJ’s door and presented it to Lufthansa Technik Completion Center designers in Hamburg, Germany.
Aviation Partners said 30 hr of initial flight testing of its winglets installed on a Hawker 800 (designated the 800SP) has verified a 7-percent reduction in cruise fuel consumption, netting an increase of 150 to 200 nm in range, “significant” improvement in takeoff second segment climb, better payload capability from hot-and-high airports and optimum cruise altitudes of about 2,000 ft higher.
The impressive growth of business aviation in the Middle East hasn’t excluded the region’s executive charter companies, some of which have been enjoying their most lucrative stretch ever. Awash in available capital, they’ve not only added equipment and new markets, they’ve begun expanding into related businesses such as FBOs and maintenance services.
Embraer (Stand E614) has opened a sales office here in Dubai in a bid to gain a larger share of what it views as a booming market for business aircraft in the Middle East. The office currently is housed in Jet Aviation’s facility at Dubai International Airport, but Embraer plans to establish its own premises as business grows.
As the normal business jet evolves to fill ever smaller niches in the market, it’s no surprise to see more airliner-derived VIP jets offered to an ever wealthier clientele. Airbus happily announced it has reached the 100 mark in Airbus Corporate Jetliner sales and Boeing has tallied firm orders for 151 BBJs and VIP jets since launching the BBJ division 11 years ago. Some buyers just want the ultimate in airborne space
Beginning next month, engine manufacturers seeking FAA type certification for new turbine designs with inlet areas greater than 2.5 square meters (roughly 27 sq ft) will have to pass more stringent bird-ingestion tests. The amended rule–already accepted by the EASA–formalizes standards that the industry has already largely adopted, according to Marc Bouthillier of the FAA’s engine and propeller directorate.
The scheduled airlines, after years of seeing business-class travelers lured away by business aviation operators, are fighting back.