Pilatus Business Aircraft (Booth No. 228) reports that despite some cancellations and delivery deferrals of its single-engine Next Generation PC-12 this year, it has maintained production rates at its plant in Switzerland. The company is confident that the turboprop’s improved avionics, completely new cockpit and more powerful engine will see it through the global aerospace crisis.
Despite the recession, a significant number of new aircraft programs remain largely on track. OEMs such as Cessna, Dassault Falcon Jet, Embraer and Gulfstream all appear to be staying close to their development schedules while Hawker Beechcraft has pushed back the Premier II until 2012 (from 2010). Newcomers Honda and Spectrum appear to have suffered some minor slippage, sending the earliest deliveries of those aircraft into 2011.
Cessna Aircraft last month celebrated the 40th anniversary of the maiden flight of the Citation 500, the first model in its now broad series of business jets. On Sept. 15, 1969, pilot Milt Sills and copilot J.L. LeSueur flew the first Citation prototype from Wichita Municipal Airport–now Mid-Continent Airport–on a successful one-hour, 45-minute sortie.
Cessna Aircraft today is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the maiden flight of the Citation 500, the first model in its now broad series of business jets. On Sept. 15, 1969, pilot Milt Sills and copilot J.L. LeSueur flew the first Citation prototype from Wichita Municipal Airport–now Mid-Continent Airport–on a successful one-hour, 45-minute sortie.
Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer is a relative newcomer to the business aviation market. Five years ago the company was best known for producing many regional jets and its only business airplane was the Legacy, a corporate version of the ERJ 135.
Cessna joined the wings and fuselage of the third CJ4 in mid-May, marking major assembly of the first CJ4 in Cessna’s new assembly line using production tooling. The first two production CJ4s were also assembled on production tooling, but not on the new assembly line.
Dr. Sam Williams, founder and chairman of Williams International, died yesterday at the age of 88, according to a statement issued by his company. Williams patented the small turbofan engine and built on his company’s successful development of tiny cruise missile engines to break into the rarefied world of civil turbine engine manufacturers with introduction of the FJ44 line of turbofans.
No one has had it easy in business aviation these past six months, and Cessna has certainly had its share of knocks with enforced reductions in production capacity and a sudden decision to suspend development of its new Columbus model. But the U.S. airframer believes that it and the rest of the industry are about to turn the corner into more encouraging economic times.
The EASA’s flat fee for a type certificate for a fixed-wing aircraft with an mtow of between 5.7 and 22 metric tons (encompassing the Cessna Citation CJ3 to the Falcon 900 series) is e1.06 million ($1.48 million). For a rotorcraft, it ranges from e20,000 to e525,000 ($28,000 to $735,000). Additional annual fees are levied to pay for the administration processes that ensure continued airworthiness.
Cessna has delivered the first Citation XLS+ to an undisclosed U.S.-based customer. The aircraft achieved FAA certification on May 30, and EASA certification is expected to be complete early this year. Cessna has taken orders for more than 200 of the midsize XLS upgrade, which features the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite and P&WC electronically controlled (fadec) engines.