Gulfstream Aerospace president Bryan Moss had hard numbers here at the EBACE show yesterday as evidence of business aviation’s improving fortunes. The Savannah, Georgia-based manufacturer plans to deliver 111 green aircraft this year and 127 next year, versus 89 last year. By some measures those are not big numbers, but to Gulfstream, which builds some of the highest value aircraft in the industry, they indicate a market in fine health.
The Transportation Security Administration on Thursday issued an advisory urging private jet owners and general aviation airports to review security measures after a message was posted in Arabic on a Web forum on April 13 urging all Muslims to destroy American business jets “usually used by distinguished (people) and businessmen.” The message advised how to identify U.S.
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.
The new Gulfstream 150 business jet remains on schedule to be officially rolled out at Israel Aircraft Industries on January 18, make its first flight in May, receive FAA certification in the first quarter of next year and enter service in the third quarter of next year. The 2,700-nm, $13.5 million jet is an upgraded G100 (itself the former Astra SPX).
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.
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.
Gulfstream Aerospace has received an STC that permits installation of the Savannah-based company’s new Broadband Multi-Link data transfer system in its G350 and G450. The first installation is being done on a G450 that was scheduled for delivery last month.
The STC came just a month after the company received an STC for the installation of Gulfstream’s Broad Band Multi-Link in the G500 and G550.
Atlantic Aero of Greensboro, N.C., expanded its FBO and maintenance/mod operation recently to include aircraft interior completion and refurbishment. With a “substantial” backlog, the company expects to open a 9,000-sq-ft shop on October 30 that will consolidate all the interiors disciplines, including cabinetry and upholstery.
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.”