From very large to very light jets about to crest the horizon, Pratt & Whitney Canada engines power some of business aviation’s most exciting designs. Anticipation and optimism are whetting the appetite for information not only about the airplanes, but also the engines that will propel them and the systems that will guide them. The NBAA Convention, as usual, serves as the venue for digesting a year’s worth of news.
Cessna is halfway through the 150-hour function and reliability (F&R) flight-testing on the Citation Mustang very light jet, the last step before gaining Part 23 type certification, expected in the fourth quarter and possibly beating the Eclipse 500 VLJ to full, unrestricted certification. The TC will include approval for single-pilot operation, operations in RVSM airspace and an airframe designed for an unlimited lifetime.
It's going to be a photo finish between the Eclipse 500 and Cessna Citation Mustang in the race for full FAA type certification (TC). Yesterday, Cessna completed the 150-hour function and reliability testing, the last major hurdle before TC.
The much-anticipated very light jet (VLJ) air-taxi market is beginning to take shape with operators gearing up for the start of service in the eastern U.S. and Europe. VLJ fractional ownership companies also have been formed in Canada and California, a sure sign that the era of the VLJ is about to begin in earnest.
The Cessna Citation Mustang on Friday became the first of a new segment of aircraft known as very light jets (VLJ) to be fully FAA type certified. Its Pratt & Whitney Canada PW615F powerplant was FAA certified on the same day. According to Cessna, the type certification (TC) includes approval for the following operations: single-pilot, day, night, IMC and RVSM.
Three of the major players in the very light jet (VLJ) arena appeared before the Senate aviation subcommittee to address concerns that the new breed of aircraft will present insuperable challenges for the ATC system. Cessna chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton; Eclipse Aviation president Vern Raburn; and DayJet founder Ed Iacobucci took their case to Capitol Hill. Joining them were two top FAA officials and an aviation consultant.
Mecaer America (Booth No.1047) announced delivery of its first five landing gear shipsets to Eclipse Aviation for the recently certified Eclipse 500 VLJ. The delivery was made on September 29. Previously, Mecaer’s parent company, Mecaer S.p.A. of Borgomanero, Italy, delivered 30 landing gear shipsets to Albuquerque, N.M.-based Eclipse.
Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) has successfully completed the maiden flight of its PW617F engine, selected to power the Embraer Phenom 100 very light jet (VLJ).
Eclipse Aviation CEO Vern Raburn surprised the attendees at a packed NBAA press conference yesterday when he predicted the company would build 525 airplanes by the end of next year. He also hinted that Eclipse already has firm plans for a follow-on aircraft model, but he would not elaborate further.
There are 12 very light jets currently in development, in flight-test or recently certified. Nearly all are clean-sheet designs, which typically consume more money and time than do derivatives, illustrating the faith manufacturers (and would-be manufacturers) have in this emerging market.