Glenn Hess, a longtime Boeing and McDonnell Douglas senior executive, has been named president and COO of Bell Helicopter. He fills a hole in the senior staff vacated by John Murphey when he was promoted to chairman and CEO. Key to both Hess’ and Murphey’s success will be putting Bell’s troubled civil and military tiltrotor programs back on track.
With the consummation of the Flight Options/Raytheon Travel Air merger on March 21, the fractional ownership business is “a two-horse race between Flight Options and NetJets, relegating the other providers to boutique markets.” So says Flight Options CEO Kenn Ricci, characteristically confident in the future of the frax operator he founded in 1998.
General Electric’s Garrett Santa Barbara completion center, opened in mid-1999 for the express purpose of outfitting Boeing Business Jets, is scheduled to close next month following a troubled three-year history.
The announcement last month by GE was described as part of a decision by the parent company “to adjust its business activities to the current market conditions.”
Alpha Omega Jet Services, launched in late 2000 as an aircraft management and consulting firm, went into the completion and refurb business last month with the acquisition of Aircraft Components Manufacturing. Both companies reside at Sulphur Springs (Texas) Municipal Airport. As a subcontractor, ACM had done the cabinetry work for four Boeing Business Jets finished by the former Raytheon Aircraft Integration Systems.
Gulfstream Aerospace received an STC for the installation of the Northstar Technologies Flight Deck Organizer in the GIV and GIV-SP. The system combines a complete Jeppesen approach chart database with a moving-map display. System cost, including installation, is about $50,000, not including the chart subscription. The Savannah, Ga. manufacturer is working to obtain an STC for the system on the GII, GIII and GV.
After less than three years as a stand-alone company, MD Helicopters Inc. (MDHI) has doubled its workforce to more than 400 and expects revenues of at least $150 million this year.
Boeing cleared a major hurdle in the development of its recently announced air-traffic management system after the Federal Communications Commission granted the Seattle-based company a mobile satellite service license. The move allows Boeing to build a medium-earth-orbit constellation of non-geosynchronous satellites in the 2-GHz band.
Associated Air Center has ordered a CTT Systems Zonal Comfort System for a Boeing 767, for which the Dallas-based facility is installing a VIP interior. Associated is the first U.S. completion center to install the system. According to CTT, a Swedish manufacturer based in Nykoping, the system addresses problems associated with dry air by raising humidity levels in the cabin to 25 percent.
Shipments of new turbine business aircraft manufactured throughout the world have taken a nose dive since last year. This year’s deliveries totaled 601 units in the first nine months, down 196 (25 percent), from the same period last year, according to figures compiled by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and AIN.
Regional-aircraft manufacturers face the prospect of increased financial risk in coming years, despite having been able to reduce sales costs since the mid-1990s, according to Moody’s Investor Service. As the economic recession continues, the New York-based credit research agency said such companies might not escape global requirements for more financial assistance to operators.