The Pritzkers of Chicago–one of the nation’s wealthiest families, with controlling interest in the Hyatt hotel chain and one-time part owner of the former Galaxy Aerospace–agreed to pay a record $460 million to the federal government to avoid possible lawsuits from the failure of its Superior Bank.
Gulfstream Aerospace plans to cut about 480 people from its workforce of 8,000, citing a drop in business jet orders in response to the slowing economy. The Savannah, Ga.-based manufacturer laid off 200 employees last fall. Gulfstream, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, also revealed it will cut back production of GIV-SPs and GVs by 11 to 15 percent, or about eight to 10 aircraft this year.
Sales of Gulfstream business jets in the first quarter increased 17 percent year-over-year, Nicholas Chabraja, chairman and CEO of parent company General Dynamics, said during an April 23 investor conference call. Backlog at the Savannah, Ga. aircraft manufacturer climbed $200 million in the quarter, and that includes only sales of in-production aircraft.
Most pilots flying into Dallas Love Field (DAL) are probably not accustomed to seeing “General Dynamics” emblazoned on a civil hangar, but the defense contractor isn’t that new to general aviation. It did own Cessna Aircraft from 1985 until it was sold to Textron seven years later, and three years ago it acquired Gulfstream Aerospace.
Sales of Gulfstream business jets in the first quarter increased 17 percent year-over-year, Nicholas Chabraja, chairman and CEO of parent company General Dynamics, said yesterday during an investor conference call. According to Chabraja, backlog at the Savannah, Ga. aircraft manufacturer climbed $200 million in the quarter, and that includes only sales of in-production aircraft.
Gulfstream Aerospace received FAA approval of an aircraft service change (ASC) for the Gulfstream II fuselage, effectively extending the life of the airframe from 20,000 to 36,000 flight hours. Life-extension work on the Gulfstreams, consisting primarily of inspections, will initially be done at Gulfstream’s main Savannah, Ga. facility but will eventually be expanded to other sites.
Over the next several months, Gulfstream will end Gulfstream 200 (nee Galaxy) business jet completion work at Alliance Airport in Fort Worth, Texas, and turn the facility into the company’s sales and design headquarters. The former Galaxy Aerospace facility was acquired when General Dynamics (Gulfstream’s parent) purchased the company last June. Gulfstream 200 completions are being transferred to Dallas Love Field.
With 600 now in service, the Bombardier (née Canadair) Challenger is assured a place in history 25 years after its first flight on Nov. 8, 1978. A further almost 20 examples of the latest variant, the Challenger 300 (neé Continental), were in production at Bombardier’s Wichita factory at the start of last month, according to AvData.
The prospect of designing a supersonic business jet that meets market requirements and environmental noise constraints at a price that will attract buyers remains compelling, and research continues. The Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently signed an agreement to research SSBJ sonic boom mitigation with Rolls-Royce Deutschland and Gulfstream Aerospace.
International orders accounted for more than half of Gulfstream’s 2007 earnings and contributed to a 17.3-percent increase in net sales last year, to $4.8 billion, up from $4.1 billion in 2006.