Premier Air Center of East Alton, Ill., has deep roots in the general aviation community. It began in 1947 as Walston Aviation on St. Louis Regional Airport and became one of the largest Cessna dealers in the world. The business changed hands a few times, eventually becoming Premier Air Center in 1984. In 2002 a group of investors, including Sam Haycraft, Mike Durst and Jim Swehla, acquired the company.
On December 9 Cessna Aircraft claimed another record, though this one does not involve any aircraft speed or distance. In support of its expanding customer services, that day Cessna held grand-opening ceremonies for its 443,000-sq-ft Wichita Citation Service Center, below, the largest general aviation maintenance facility in the world.
As the Eclipse 500 was being rolled out last month, the Citation Mustang very light jet was fast taking form at Cessna’s Pawnee facility in Wichita. At press time, workers had already assembled forward and aft cabin sections, and the Mustang’s wings were being assembled.
Two fatal bizjet accidents in the first two weeks of this year, already half the total for all of 2006, have claimed the lives of four pilots.
Cessna received the FAA production certificate for its new Citation Mustang very light jet on November 22, two-and-a-half months after type certification on September 8. By issuing the production certificate, the FAA cleared Cessna for volume production and to conduct flight tests and sign airworthiness certificates using its own designees and with less FAA involvement.
During a briefing held on November 20, Honda Aircraft president Michimasa Fujino showed off the extensive research and testing that the Honda team has accomplished thus far on the HondaJet and parceled out a few more details about the program.
Cessna Aircraft (Stand E705) has continued with recently introduced nomenclature for its newly upgraded models by turning the Citation Encore into the Encore+. Previous Citation models that received the plus treatment are the CJ1+ and CJ2+ light jets.
Cessna sold three Citation business jets here at Asian Aerospace yesterday.
First, Japan Aerospace Corp. (JAC) inked a deal to buy its second CJ2+. Then Taneja Aerospace and Aviation of Bangalore, India, bought a CJ2+ and an XLS.
“We’ve found the CJ2+ is well suited for the Japanese market,” said JAC president and CEO Kazuyuki Tamura. “It is ideal to replace the large, but outdated twin turboprops in Japan.”
Executive Airlines, Spain’s second-ranking executive charter operator, has increased its fleet from four aircraft to seven and expects to add five more in the next two years, for a total of 12, to serve what it calls a growing but very competitive market.
Spectrum Aeronautical (Booth No. 960) is laying the foundations for a delivery and support network in Europe with subsidiary Spectrum Aviation Europe it established last year in Luxembourg.