Gulfstream’s newest jets–the super-midsize G280 and wide-cabin G650–are making their China debut at ABACE, which officially opens tomorrow at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport. “We’re excited to bring the G650 and G280, as well as the G150, G450 and G550 to China for our customers to see in person,” said Gulfstream senior vice president of sales and marketing Scott Neal. “Bringing these five aircraft here demonstrates the commitment we’ve made to China and reflects our belief in the strength of this market.”
With the number of business jets in China steadily increasing, the country is facing a shortage of qualified pilots, with virtually all of those attending its flight academies and training schools destined for the commercial aviation sector. Operators in China use a ratio of five pilots for every business jet in operation, according to Christopher Jackson, co-founder and executive director of China-based aviation consultancy Jackson Rosenberg, who sees a need for hundreds of additional business jet pilots in the short to medium term.
Gulfstream Aerospace has been making major investments of its own to boost customer support in China. In November 2012 the U.S. manufacturer opened the country’s first factory-owned business jet service center at Beijing Capital International Airport.
With one quarter of the year in the rear-view mirror, the pre-owned market enters one of its historically busier quarters, and with some key economic indicators showing improvement, this year may be setting up to be busier than many recent ones. So many aircraft values have done nothing but fall for nearly five years. Now some are showing signs of resisting that perennial trend. A number of segments continue to edge ever closer toward right pricing, but others have fallen so far that they are beginning to move quickly.
Basel, Switzerland-based Amac Aerospace has received maintenance organization approval (MOA) from the State Civil Aviation Administration of Russia. The approval allows Amac to carry out base and line maintenance work on all Russian-registered Gulfstream IVs and GVs, as well as Airbus A319s and Boeing 737NGs. It also allows heavy maintenance work up to C Check levels at its facility at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg.
Aircraft manufacturers will deliver an estimated 9,400 business jets worth $253 billion over the next 10 years, according to a forecast released late last week by Montreal-based business aviation services firm Zenith Jet.
The freshly certified, wide-cabin Gulfstream G650 will make its Middle Eastern public debut at Abu Dhabi Air Expo, which will be held March 5 to 7 at Al Bateen Airport in Abu Dhabi. “We are delighted that Gulfstream has chosen [our] expo as the platform from which to premiere its latest aircraft and know it will be of great interest to [show] visitors,” said event director Didier Mary.
Gulfstream plans to have its G450 and G550 on static display at the show as well.
CAE’s Gulfstream G450/G550 flight simulator in Shanghai, China, recently received Level D certification by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). The G450/G550 training programs are set to start soon at the Shanghai Eastern Flight Training Centre (SEFTC), in the Shanghai Pudong Waigaoqiao free trade zone. Both programs will feature standard CAE courseware in Mandarin, as well as English. The Shanghai facility is CAE’s 10th business aviation training location worldwide.
Gulfstream Aerospace technicians were responsible for uncovering a preflight systems test malfunction that led to last week’s FAA Airworthiness Directive on all 260 G350/450s. The December 12 directive–2012-NM-219-AD–took effect December 17 and addresses the flap/stabilizer electronic control unit cockpit crewmembers normally test before the first flight of the day.
The FAA published an Airworthiness Directive December 12 on the Gulfstream G350/450 after what is described as routine maintenance testing by the manufacturer uncovered a fault in one of the aircraft test systems used during normal checks by pilots before the first flight of the day. The test that failed normally confirms the operational readiness of the hydraulic brake used to stop the pitch trim motor in the event of a runaway of that system.