PrivateSky Aviation Services, Inc. (www. privatesky.net) of Fort Myers, Fla., has enhanced its NDT capability with the addition of a ComScan non-destructive testing scanning machine. The company is an FAA-certified Part 145 repair station specializing in Gulfstream IIs, IIIs, IVs and Vs.
Gulfstream’s first-quarter operating earnings and margins improved from the same period last year. Business jet deliveries increased for the second consecutive quarter–to 17 in the first quarter compared with 15 in the first three months of last year. Gulfstream projects delivering 53 to 55 “large” aircraft (G300 through G550) this year, compared with 50 last year.
Bell Helicopter announced last month it is relocating its commercial business unit’s worldwide sales and marketing offices and the Bell Training Academy to the facility formerly occupied by Galaxy Aerospace/Gulfstream at Fort Worth Alliance Airport, Texas.
Gulfstream introduced the G350 at the Asian Aerospace show in Singapore on February 23 and confirmed that the model would supersede the G300, as reported last month in AIN. The new Gulfstream model, slated to be certified by year-end and enter service in the fall next year, will be a shorter-range and less expensive airplane (3,800 nm and $27.5 million, respectively) than the G450.
In the fourth quarter of last year, Gulfstream Aerospace reported receiving orders for 34 aircraft, the largest number it has ever received in a three-month period. Saying, “We entered 2004 with an improving economic outlook for business aviation,” the company claims it has already sold out nearly 70 percent of this year’s planned production, adding that new customers can’t get a delivered Gulfstream until next year.
When is a Gulfstream II or III not a Stage 2 aircraft? When it gets a Stage 3 hush kit. Last month, Miami-based Quiet Technology Aerospace delivered its 11th converted Gulfstream since its Stage 3 hush kit received certification a year ago this month. The latest two airplanes were GIIIs owned by charter operator C&S Aviation of Dallas.
To meet upcoming production needs, Gulfstream has placed a $20 million order with Kollsman for an undisclosed number of enhanced vision systems (EVS).
Gulfstream Aerospace, which experienced a 12-percent increase in aircraft production last year compared with 2004 and expects that growth to continue, revealed plans yesterday for a $300 million expansion of manufacturing and service facilities at its Savannah, Ga. headquarters. This project, to unfold over the next seven years, includes a new 570,000-sq-ft service center–more than twice the size of the existing center.
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.
Ruag Aerospace Services (Stand A221-04) is about to convert a Gulfstream 550 into an atmospheric research aircraft. The German DLR Aerospace Center will use it for its high-altitude, long-range program, dubbed Halo. U.S. manufacturer Gulfstream subcontracted the modification work to Ruag, and is to deliver the aircraft to it on April 24.