Gulfstream delivered 54 business jets in the first half of this year versus 41 in the first half of last year, according to figures released yesterday by parent company General Dynamics.
After a whole lot of fanfare two years ago, when the Aerion and Supersonic Aerospace International (SAI) quiet supersonic business jet (SSBJ) concepts were first announced at the 2004 NBAA Convention, work continues on the development of these and other supersonic business jet designs, albeit more quietly.
Reporting on first-quarter results, General Dynamics (GD) singled out Gulfstream for “superb performance.” According to GD chairman and CEO Nicholas Chabraja, the Savannah, Ga.-based OEM had significant growth in virtually every segment: sales, deliveries, earnings, revenue, margins and backlog. “I think our disciplined approach to cost controls and productivity continues to pay extraordinary dividends,” Chabraja said.
All six General Dynamics Service Centers have joined General Electric’s CF34 service center network. General Dynamics service facilities are located in Las Vegas; Minneapolis; Dallas; Appleton, Wis.; Westfield, Mass.; and West Palm Beach, Fla. The CF34 powers Challengers.
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. General Dynamics is the parent company of Savannah, Ga.-based Gulfstream.
The board of directors of General Dynamics elected Raynor Reavis, Gulfstream Aerospace senior v-p of marketing and sales, a vice president of the airframer’s parent corporation, which has 23 other v-ps. Reavis, 63, joins four other top executives at Gulfstream Aerospace who are vice presidents at General Dynamics.
The bull is back, or at least it appears to be. After watching business aviation limp along for the past three years, executives at Textron, General Dynamics and Raytheon are now optimistic that the industry is on the rebound.
Gulfstream parent General Dynamics’ second-quarter revenues totaled $5.2 billion, a 12-percent year-over-year gain propelled mostly by a 33-percent increase in earnings at the Savannah, Ga. aircraft manufacturer. The OEM delivered 22 completed aircraft–14 large-cabin and eight midsize jets–in the second quarter versus 18 (15 large, three midsize) in the same period last year.
On August 11 European private equity group Permira said it would buy a majority stake in Zurich, Switzerland-based aviation services company Jet Aviation for an undisclosed amount. With a formal closing expected later this month, the sale will end the uncertainty about the fate of the Hirschmann-family-controlled enterprise, which was informally “in play” since it was first put up for sale in early 2002.
Gulfstream Aerospace has appointed Gerard Schkolnik as director of its supersonic technology programs. Among other projects, the former NASA engineer will work on sonic-boom suppression. Gulfstream has under study a proposed “quiet supersonic business jet.”