Shipments of general aviation aircraft last year increased significantly over 2005, resulting in record highs in billings and in business jet deliveries.
General Dynamics (GD) announced this morning that on April 9, Joseph Lombardo will become executive v-p of its aerospace business group and president of subsidiary Gulfstream Aerospace. He will succeed Bryan Moss. Lombardo, 58, has been Gulfstream’s COO since 2001. Moss, 66, who has been Gulfstream president since 2003, will become president emeritus of Gulfstream, a new position.
Factory product support for Gulfstream IIs and GIIIs will move out from beneath the wing of Gulfstream service centers and find itself under the umbrella of Delaware-based General Dynamics Aviation Services (GDAS) on January 1.
Deliveries of and orders for Gulfstream business jets increased last year for the first time since 2001, when the company shipped 101 jets. In its newly released financial and earnings report for last year, General Dynamics, Gulfstream’s parent company, said the OEM delivered 78 green Gulfstreams last year versus 74 in 2003.
Gulfstream delivered 113 green jets last year, 27 percent more than the 89 shipped in 2005 and exceeding by 12 the previous record of 101 deliveries set in 2001. Orders also increased by about 27 percent. According to year-end figures released yesterday by Gulfstream parent General Dynamics (GD), Gulfstream last year took orders for 159 aircraft compared to 124 in 2005.
Gulfstream Aerospace President Bryan Moss made his company’s position on supersonic business jets clear at a Paris press conference yesterday when he said, “If you want to get me fired, just report that Gulfstream is developing a supersonic business jet.”
The U.S. Exim Bank has approved a long-term loan guarantee to support the sale of three Gulfstream G350 business jets to Saudi Arabian executive air transport provider National Air Services. Gulfstream signed a letter of intent in May for the aircraft, which the Exim Bank accord finalizes. The transaction is structured as an asset-based financing arrangement with the G350s serving as collateral. Arab Banking Corp.
General aviation manufacturers continue to show steady growth in deliveries and backlogs. According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), airframe builders delivered 2,842 piston and turbine airplanes in the first nine months of this year–nearly 19 percent more than the 2,391 shipments made in the same period last year.
Gulfstream appears to be off to a good start in meeting its projection to deliver this year 72 or 73 “large aircraft” (G350s, G450s, G500s and G550s). According to Nicholas Chabraja, chairman and CEO of parent company General Dynamics, “We had orders for more aircraft, both in units and dollars, than we had in the year-ago quarter.” Gulfstream delivered 18 large aircraft in the first quarter compared with 14 in the same period last year.
Gulfstream Aerospace president Bryan Moss has dismissed the company’s long-discussed “Quiet Supersonic Jet” (QSJ). At a press conference at EBACE earlier this month, he asked, “Will Gulfstream build a supersonic business jet? Read my lips: No!” He said the company is devoting its research efforts in this field to two issues: rule changes that would allow supersonic flight over land and sonic-boom suppression.