While FAA Administrator Marion Blakey and GA industry leaders wrangled over aviation user fees and taxes at the Aircraft Electronics Association’s 50th annual convention, avionics makers and dealers got down to the business of discussing new products and market opportunities.
Germany-based aerospace consultancy PMI-Media has lowered its estimated very light jet (VLJ) delivery schedule for this year based on production difficulties Eclipse Aviation has encountered. In its latest report, PMI said it has reduced its total VLJ industry deliveries forecast by nearly half, from 205 to 125.
The seventh annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) seems certain to be the largest event yet, with more than 10,000 visitors expected at Geneva’s Palais des Expositions convention center to view more than 300 exhibits and 50 aircraft. But the show (May 22 to 24) will also be an important forum for some big issues now facing the business aviation community in Europe.
The life of a component supplier is a difficult one in the aerospace and business aviation industries. Being dependent on the airframe manufacturers for business severely limits a company’s ability to expand to new markets. But at least one engine manufacturer is having a good go of it these days.
DayJet founder, president and CEO Ed Iacobucci dropped by AIN’s offices last month to provide an update on progress with his per-seat, on-demand VLJ air-taxi service. The company had 100 employees and had taken delivery of the first three of 310 Eclipse 500s it has ordered or taken options on. The aircraft awaited installation of a third attitude indicator before they could be used for Part 135 pilot training and operation.
Germany-based aerospace consultancy PMI-Media has lowered its estimated very light jet (VLJ) delivery schedule for this year based on production difficulties Eclipse Aviation has encountered. In its latest report, PMI says total VLJ industry deliveries have been reduced by nearly half, from 205 to 125.
Eclipse Aviation unveiled its home-grown PhostrEx fire-suppression system for the Eclipse 500 today at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. According to the Albuquerque, N.M.-based company, its recently FAA-certified PhostrEx system weighs 90 percent less than a Halon fire-suppression system since two teaspoons of PhostrEx is equivalent to 2.5 cups of Halon.
With a firm order for 10 Eclipse 500s and an option for 10 more, London, Ontario-based OurPlane becomes the first fractional customer for the very light jet, scheduled to enter service early next year. Unlike other fractional operations, OurPlane sells shares only in one-quarter increments. Eclipse 500 share prices start at $349,900, with a monthly fixed cost of $3,500 and hourly operating costs of $369, without a pilot.
Swiss-based Aviace, which ordered 112 Eclipse 500 very light jets in 2002, has put its “jet club” plans on hold until the aircraft is in the final stages of European certification. “We want to know when the aircraft is actually certified in Europe before making any definite announcement,” Aviace CEO Wilfried Koeck told AIN.
Eclipse Aviation delivered to DayJet its first three Eclipse 500 VLJs on March 31, bringing Eclipse’s delivery total to five. While its airplanes await a third ADAHRS for Part 135 operations, DayJet is using its initial deliveries to train pilots for air-taxi services. Eclipse also released draft section 5 of the Eclipse 500 AFM, for the final configuration with aerodynamic mods, aluminum tip tanks and Avio NG avionics.