Bombardier Business Aircraft has authorized Global Aviation of Portland-Hillsboro Airport to be an aircraft on ground/line maintenance facility (AOG/LMF) in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. The authorization allows Global Aviation to perform line maintenance on the Learjet 40, 45 and 60; Challenger 604 and 605; and the Global series.
Global Aviation of Hillsboro, Ore., is now a Bombardier Business Aircraft-authorized AOG/line maintenance facility, strengthening service center coverage on the West Coast. Bombardier’s selection of Global Aviation authorizes the company to offer line maintenance on the Learjet 40, 45 and 60; the Challenger 604 and 605; and the Global series.
The Chinese proverb “may you live in interesting times” certainly seems appropriate for manufacturers and would-be manufacturers of new business airplanes. Interesting times indeed: with the weaker than expected economic recovery, and the specter of a possible double-dip recession, even some established, well financed business aircraft manufacturers are stretching out timelines for their respective new products.
Placing the blame primarily on a “severe downturn” in the U.S. business aviation market, Canadian OEM Bombardier last week slashed its net-income target for the current fiscal year by 21 percent. The company, which saw its business aircraft deliveries drop from 114 in the first half of last year to 74 for the same period this year, said the forecast includes a “one-time charge” to write down the value of used business aircraft.
Bombardier Aerospace has named Duncan Aviation’s Battle Creek operation a Learjet authorized service facility (ASF). Duncan’s Lincoln, Neb. facility is already a designated ASF. Both locations are now authorized to provide Learjet warranty work, engine and airframe inspections, Service Bulletin installations, “Smart Parts” administration, avionics updating and troubleshooting.
While Bombardier’s Wichita Learjet facility remains idle until next month during a planned, but unprecedented, four-month plant shutdown, company managers and machinists union representatives are “talking” about how to reduce production costs. According to a Bombardier spokesman, the Wichita facility ranks dead last in cost efficiency out of the company’s six aerospace manufacturing plants.
When Bill Lear visited Switzerland more than 40 years ago, he was introduced to the P-16 fighter and became especially captivated with the wing design. That led to the design of the wing of the Learjet 23 and its first flight on Oct. 7, 1963. The rest of the story, as it is said, is history. The 40th anniversary of the first flight of the Learjet 23 falls, coincidentally, on the first day of this year’s NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla.
Bombardier is bringing Rockwell Collins’ new Pro Line Fusion cockpit to the Global Express XRS and 5000 as long-overdue replacements for the airplanes’ Honeywell Primus 2000XP avionics. Migrating from six CRT screens to four large-format LCDs will allow Bombardier to add synthetic vision, enhanced vision, electronic charting and other advanced capabilities to its top-of-the line models.
Bombardier received FAA approval last month of the Honeywell TFE731-20BR upgrade for the Learjet 45 and has started delivering upgraded aircraft–known as the Learjet 45XR–about one year later than originally planned.
Premier Turbines, a division of Dallas Airmotive, has added -20, -40 and -60 models to its TFE731 Core Zone Inspections (CZI) program. As a result, the company now offers CZIs on all TFE731 turbofan engines. Neosho, Mo.-based Premier, a Honeywell authorized heavy maintenance facility since 1996, has also modified an engine test cell to support this program.