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.
During last month’s NBAA Convention, Rockwell Collins announced certification of the company’s integrated flight information system (IFIS), an add-on to the baseline Pro Line 21 avionics platform that brings electronic charts, graphic weather and enhanced map overlays to cockpit multifunction displays.
German-based airline Lufthansa has ordered two Cessna Citation CJ3 and two Citation XLS+ business jets for its Private Jet service, which offers connections and point-to-point travel to first-class passengers in Europe. The new fleet will also include three Citation CJ1+s that were part of an earlier Lufthansa order for training purposes. All Cessna deliveries are expected between this month and December.
Cessna’s newest project, first unveiled as a concept airplane at NBAA 2006 and dubbed the Large Cabin jet, is now the biggest jet in the company’s lineup and called the Citation Columbus. The fuselage mockup of the airplane generated enough positive feedback for the board of directors of Textron (Cessna’s parent company) to give the program the go-ahead on January 23, so it’s time to add the jet to In The Works.
Cessna Aircraft completed the wing mate on the first Citation CJ4, the largest member of the CJ series. First flight of the Williams FJ44-4A-powered twinjet, which
was launched at the 2006 NBAA Convention, is expected this summer, with entry into service planned for the first half of 2010.