Despite the current economic downturn, French charter operator Leadair Unijet is rejuvenating its fleet. The Le Bourget-based company is also dropping “Leadair” to make its name simpler. Additionally, Unijet recently opened a broker office in New York and now offers flights to U.S. customers traveling to a major European airline hub and wanting to continue their trip with a business jet.
SimuFlite, which was recently rebranded as GE Capital SimuFlite to emphasize that it is a subsidiary of General Electric, has begun its third major expansion of its Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) training center in just six years. The company recently broke ground on a 70,000-sq-ft north wing that will house six simulator bays, additional classrooms and office space.
Beechjet 400/400A pilot training is now available on a new simulator at SimuFlite’s Dallas headquarters. The simulator features Collins Pro Line 4 avionics. SimuFlite plans to add King Air 350 simulator training next month and Hawker 800XP simulator training in the summer.
With the exception of the Falcon 900C, deliveries in the first half of this year of the other three Falcon models increased significantly over the same period last year: 48 airplanes vs 38. Compared with deliveries through the first six months of last year (shown in parentheses), the French manufacturer said for this year it delivered: 23 Falcon 2000s (15); 12 Falcon 900EXs (11); nine Falcon 50EXs (eight) and four Falcon 900Cs (four).
Garrett Aviation has completed installation of the first Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 Continuum retrofit avionics system in a Falcon 20. Designed to extend the lives of aging business jets, the package features active-matrix LCD adaptive flight displays that support advanced capabilities for terrain awareness, enhanced navigation maps, uplinked graphic weather and other functions.
In December, delivery delays of Dassault’s new Falcon 7X trijet were “in some cases” as long as six months. Since then, the manufacturer has temporarily moved cabin completion work for early NetJets Europe Falcon 7Xs to its manufacturing assembly plant in Merignac, France. The main completion center in Little Rock, Ark., has begun using subcontractors to assist in handling cabinet manufacturing and some assembly work.
The EASA granted certification to the Falcon 2000DX on September 19, and FAA certification followed on October 3. Entry into service is expected early next year, following completion of the first 2000DX at Falcon’s Little Rock, Ark. completion center. The 2000DX replaces the original Falcon 2000 and offers 3,250 nm range and the Honeywell EASy flight deck. An enhanced vision system is optional.
French manufacturer Dassault delivered 10 Falcons in the third quarter, compared with 18 in the same period last year. In the nine months ending September 30, the company had shipped 25 Falcons, just over half as many as the 48 delivered in the January to September period last year.
Thunder Avionics in St. Louis has teamed with Flight Test Associates to develop an RVSM package for Falcon 10s and 20s. For the Falcon 10, the original autopilot will be used in addition to IS&S replacement air-data controllers and altimeters. Estimated downtime for equipment installation and skin testing is eight to 10 weeks. Price will vary from $115,000 to $200,000.
Thunder Aviation of Chesterfield, Mo. has received a group STC for an RVSM retrofit for Falcon 20s equipped with the Collins AP-105 autopilot. Follow-on STC amendments covering similarly equipped Falcon 10s are forthcoming, as well as amendments for Falcon 10s and 20s equipped with the SPZ 500 autopilot.