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.
Apparently the new and expanded manufacturing facilities currently under construction at Gulfstream's Savannah, Ga. headquarters won't immediately provide needed capacity to increase production of current models. Speaking at yesterday's conference call to the financial community, Nicholas Chabraja, chairman and CEO of Gulfstream parent company General Dynamics, said, "We will have a new factory in place at the end of 2008.
Gulfstream delivered 83 business jets in the first nine months of this year versus 65 in the same period last year, according to figures released today by parent company General Dynamics.
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.