An airframe match for one or both new small turbofan designs currently under development by Pratt & Whitney Canada may be announced at this month’s NBAA Convention. Two years ago, the engine maker revealed it was working on two new engines: the PW600F, a 2,000- to 2,400-lb-thrust model, and, in a joint development program with Raytheon Aircraft, the 2,500-lb-thrust PW625F.
It’s expected that Cessna will announce at this month’s NBAA show the Citation CJ3, reportedly a slightly longer, faster and more powerful version of the company’s hot-selling CJ2, itself introduced into service just two years ago.
The aircraft modification business represents American enterprise at its best–dozens of small companies each turning out a variety of unique products aimed at what traditionally appears to be a narrow segment of the worldwide marketplace. Modification specialists are inventors–critical thinkers and dreamers who often see solutions to problems the rest of us assumed were unfixable.
Considering the circumstances, NBAA, its membership and participants in the association’s 2001 convention in New Orleans were generally satisfied, despite the reduced numbers of attendees and exhibitors. This year, despite a struggling U.S. economy, show organizers for the Orlando event expect a show equal in scale to what had originally been anticipated in New Orleans.
On June 10 Honda flew its latest jet engine design for the first time. In the 1,900-lb-thrust range, the engine flew on a modified Cessna CitationJet from Honda’s purpose-built research facility at Atlantic Aero in Greensboro, N.C. Concurrently, Honda is busily at work on a CJ-size airframe in Greensboro, with first flight expected in January.
After gold hit $1,000 an ounce last month and oil reached $110 a barrel on the same day, financial markets continued to experience the turmoil that started the year. All the doom and gloom causes one to take an introspective look at the health of the aircraft sales market. So far, the biggest angst that might be plaguing industry participants is survivor’s remorse as this sector seems to be navigating the economic malaise with aplomb.
Very light jet. Super-midsize. Ultra-long-range. Bizliner. These are just some of the colorful names that marketers, analysts and aviation journalists have dreamed up in an attempt to pigeon hole a variety of business jets into more or less clear-cut market niches. But who gets to decide which category best suits a specific aircraft model? And where do the cutoffs lie?
German airline Lufthansa has ordered two Cessna Citation CJ3s and two Citation XLS+s for its Private Jet service, which offers connections and point-to-point travel to first-class passengers in Europe. With regional jet conversions and reallocation of previously ordered aircraft, this will bring to nine the total number of aircraft available for Lufthansa Private Jet.
Spriggs completed the first test run of the Citation Sovereign’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PW306C engines on January 11. Said Rice, “The test run went well and the program is on schedule. The engines were calibrated at all power settings up to takeoff thrust and the thrust reversers have also been tested.” On January 26 the pilots completed the first taxi test of the prototype.
All production Beech King Air 350s and B200s are now being equipped at the factory with Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics in a configuration that is nearly identical to the cockpit in the Beech Premier I entry-level business jet and being offered at no increase in aircraft price.