A Beech Starship has joined the world’s most famous flying boat and the “world’s fastest aircraft” on exhibit in an Oregon museum, thanks to a donation by Raytheon Aircraft. The three aircraft are among those displayed at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville. The Starship joins Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose, an SR-71 Blackbird and more than 50 other historic airplanes and helicopters at the nearly three-year-old museum.
Honda Aircraft officials have decided to outsource manufacture of major portions of the HondaJet, including the fuselage and wings. The company also reiterated its plans to equip the HondaJet with a Garmin avionics suite, naming Garmin the official supplier of a system “tailored for the HondaJet.”
Four Raytheon Aircraft Services (RAS) technicians and two technicians from Hawker Aircraft Services have completed the training requirements for the FlightSafety International master technician designation.
Manufacturers delivered 518 new business jets last year, some 23 percent fewer than the 676 shipped in 2002, according to the annual year-end report released last month by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Last year’s figure is the lowest level since 1998, when 520 business jets were delivered.
Beginning next January, Raytheon is scheduled to start delivering the winglet-equipped Hawker 850XP, successor to the Hawker 800XPi. Besides what Raytheon Aircraft calls "ramp appeal" the three-foot high winglets will, according to the company, improve airspeed and climb, as well as increase range by 4 percent, or 100 nm.
Taking a quasi-Southwest Airlines approach, Cleveland-based fractional provider Flight Options last month announced a “go-forward” plan to rationalize its fleet over the next three to five years with the goal of simplifying operations, increasing fleet reliability and reducing overall costs. The move is a big gamble, however, since roughly half of the company’s shareowners are up for renewal in the next 18 months.
Mention Wichita, and most people in the business aviation industry immediately think of Cessna, Raytheon/ Beech, Learjet or Boeing. Aviation history buffs and old-timers are likely to add Laird Airplane, Culver Aircraft, Travel Air or Stearman
to the list. But it’s a good bet that very few, if any, would even mention the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR).
The general aviation industry continued a strong recovery through third-quarter deliveries and billings, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. New aircraft billings were up 19.7 percent, to $8.1 billion, in the first nine months of this year, while total deliveries of new GA airplanes increased 7.7 percent, to 1,928.
Raytheon Aircraft last month reached a “tentative agreement” for NetJets to purchase up to 50 Hawker Horizons for its fractional aircraft fleet. The deal is expected to be finalized before the end of this month. In mid-2003, NetJets canceled a 1999 order for 50 Horizons due to “developmental and certification delays.” Full certification of the Hawker Horizon is still not expected until around midyear.
While the Raytheon Hawker Horizon was one of the first to blaze the super-midsize business jet trail when it was launched at the 1996 NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla., it became the last of the new breed to be certified. The airplane gained provisional FAA approval just two days before Christmas, almost four years after the originally expected spring 2001 approval.