For aviation, the spirit of the 1950s could be said to have begun with Chuck Yeager’s breaking of the “sound barrier” in Glamorous Glennis, a rocket-powered Bell X-1, on Oct. 14, 1947. The World War that had dominated the first half of the 1940s was receding in memory, and mankind’s focus on ascending from the rubble was illustrated clearly by the advances in aviation.
Worldwide deliveries of turbine business airplanes in the first quarter plunged more than 24 percent, to 201 units, compared with the 266 units shipped in the first quarter last year, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, which now reports deliveries of non-U.S. as well as U.S. manufacturers.
The Paris Air Show, being held this week at Le Bourget Airport, is turning out to be a major event for both business jet and jetliner manufacturers. Cessna said this morning that it landed a major order from NetJets and NetJets Europe valued at more than $1 billion. The deal is for 96 Citations (50 Encore+s, 37 XLS+s and nine Citation Xs). Bombardier is in on the action with a firm order for six Learjets from UK-based Skytime.
Borge Boeskov, the Icelandic-born father of the Boeing Business Jet, died on June 9 after a lengthy illness, one day shy of his 69th birthday.
UK-based Twinjet has forged an alliance with Russian aerospace export agency Aviaexport to sell used business jets in Russia. While conceding that heavy taxes on the importation of foreign-built aircraft will make the sales task harder, Twinjet managing director John Keeble asserted that long-term prospects for the Russian market are promising.
CTT Systems of Nykoping, Sweden, will be equipping Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner with its moisture control system as a basic feature. The system, said CTT president Torbjorn Johansson, is a factor in decreasing the aircraft lifecycle cost. He also noted that it can be modified for an executive/VIP version of the Boeing twinjet airliner.
Aircraft design pioneer Ed Swearingen is as convinced today as he was 30 years ago that business aircraft manufacturers are selling their customers short by delivering products that still don’t get close to airliners in terms of efficiency. Why? Essentially, because they are still designing business jets as if they were powered by turboprop engines, the veteran told an April 11 press briefing in London.
Europe’s business jet fleet has enjoyed double-digit growth over the past year, according to the latest statistics from UK-based aviation data group Airclaims. Tracking jets registered in 38 European countries, the figures show 1,407 aircraft as of last December 31–a 12-percent increase on the tally of 1,260 at the end of 2004.
B/E Aerospace (Booth No. 528), a leading manufacturer of cabin interior products for both airliners and business jets, is highlighting its lightweight Stratas passenger seat and new flex-arm LED reading light, along with other products, here at EBACE.
Rolls-Royce forecasts that 51,000 engines, valued at $70 billion, are needed over the next 20 years to meet demand for 24,000 new corporate jets, from very light jets through business jetliners. “Demand is being fueled by the business community’s increasing recognition of the value of using business jets as a productivity tool,” the turbofan engine manufacturer said.