Since last year’s NBAA Convention, several manufacturers have launched new airplanes or announced derivative designs based on previous models. Although there weren’t a lot of new certifications obtained in the past year, and despite the sagging economic and warning flags presaging slower business aviation activity, manufacturers–new and old alike–haven’t shied away from introducing new products.
Cessna Citation X
If you are looking to buy a business jet whose manufacturer provides the highest level of after-sales product support, then you would purchase one of Gulfstream’s original models, according to the results of AIN’s latest product service and support survey. The survey of 798 readers also showed that the turboprop with the best support was one that hasn’t been manufactured since 1985–the Mitsubishi MU-2.
Embraer’s Legacy is an impressive corporate version of the company’s venerable ERJ-135/145, some 700 of which are currently the workhorses of many regional airlines around the globe.
Cessna 750 Citation X, New York, N.Y., April 3, 2008–On landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport, the copilot of WM Aviation’s Citation X said he did not have nosewheel steering, brakes or any feeling of engine thrust reverse at about 80 knots. Despite emergency air brake application, the jet veered off the runway and collided with a dirt divider, shearing off the left main landing gear and buckling the nosegear.
It’s become tradition. No sooner does a manufacturer introduce a new airplane than NetJets follows right behind with an order announcement. This year’s NBAA Convention is no exception. The Woodbridge, N.J.-based fractional jet operator has placed orders and options for 200 of the newest midsize business jets, introduced here by Cessna and Gulfstream, transactions that have a potential value of nearly $2 billion.
Deliveries of new business jets continue to grow despite the slow economy and, according to Honeywell’s 10th annual business aviation outlook, the market will remain healthy in the near term with purchase expectations up in all regions.
FlightSafety International plans a $2.5 million, 28,600-sq-ft expansion to its Cessna Learning Center in Wichita to enable the addition of simulators for the Citation Excel, Citation X and the new Citation Sovereign now under development. The expanded facility also will have space for two more simulators. Construction was expected to start soon. Currently, the Cessna Learning Center has 10 simulators.
The uprated Rolls-Royce AE3007-C1 engine for the 2002 Citation X (starting with S/N 0173) has received FAA certification. The engine provides 5 percent more takeoff thrust (6,764 lb each side). Cessna said the enhanced engine performance will help to increase the Citation X’s payload capability, in addition to improving the business jet’s takeoff and climb performance.
Two months after launching the biggest, fastest and priciest Gulfstream ever, top executives for the U.S. business jet maker arrived at EBACE with a growing order book for their new G650 and sky-high optimism about the direction of the company overall.
At press time, as many as 50 of the 183 Citation Xs delivered worldwide had yet to be inspected for “very small cracks” in the elevator hinge fittings that were originally discovered during a routine inspection on April 20 of a Citation X at the Wichita Citation Service Center. Subsequent inspections revealed several other Citation Xs with similar cracks. On April 22, Cessna ordered all Citation Xs grounded until they were inspected.