Bombardier Aerospace announced today at the NBAA Convention that it completed critical design of its all-composite Learjet 85, allowing production of the light jet to begin. Development and production teams in Wichita; Montreal; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Querétaro, Mexico, are now “actively engaged” in the manufacturing validation phase, the Canadian aircraft manufacturer said.
Wichita State University has risen to second among the nation’s universities in aeronautical research and development expenditures, according to the latest information from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.
With an eye toward expanding in the regional aircraft maintenance market, AAR Aircraft Services is exploring adding a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in the Salina, Kan. area.
Hawker Beechcraft is proceeding with relocation of some of the company’s facilities, chairman and CEO Bill Boisture noted during the company’s first-quarter earnings call last month.
“Cautious optimism” for the current business aviation market likely describes the consensus of opinion of the business aviation industry here at EBACE. It is, at least, the view of Bill Boisture, chairman and CEO, Hawker Beechcraft Corp., who told AIN that his plans for transforming the Wichita, Kansas OEM into “a smaller, more agile company” are progressing.
Nordam Group of Tulsa has filed a lawsuit against Cessna Aircraft, alleging a breach of contract and seeking to prevent the OEM from transferring intellectual property to a competitor, according to court documents. The claim states that unless Cessna is halted, Nordam will suffer more than $30 million in damages. Last Thursday, U.S. Chief District Judge Claire Eagan in Tulsa turned down Cessna’s request to dismiss or move the case to U.S.
Spearheading a rally of more than 2,000 general aviation workers in Wichita in March, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood lauded the importance of general aviation manufacturing to the state of Kansas and the U.S. industrial base, and promised a visit to “the air capital of the world” from the President next year.
Two Kansas lawmakers have asked the chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee to request that the U.S. International Trade Commission investigate the global competitiveness of the U.S. business jet industry.
Stuart B. Millner and Associates has begun auctioning assets of three Wichita-area plants being closed by Hawker Beechcraft. The work done at these plants is being subcontracted out to vendors or moved to Hawker Beechcraft’s facilities in Mexico. A number of general fabrication machinery items that can be used in many industrial applications are available for sale, as are some aerospace-specific items.
Hawker Beechcraft announced on February 24 the opening of a new $20 million facility in Chihuahua City, Mexico, that will be employed primarily in sheet metal fabrication.