Dubai airport-based Elite Jets is marking its first anniversary here at the Dubai airshow by exhibiting alongside Raytheon Aircraft (Stand E501). Recent news from the private charter operator includes the delivery of a second owned Hawker 1000 business jet, an agreement with a tour operator and a block-booking contract with independent aircraft charter broker International Air Charter (IAC).
Raytheon Aircraft this month announced the Hawker 850XP and–true to form–the airplane is an evolution of the Hawker 800XPi, which is itself a recently revealed enhanced version of the Hawker 800XP that is in turn a derivative of the Hawker 800.
A Massachusetts company that has developed a flight data recorder (FDR) for aircraft in the category of the Cirrus SR20 and SR22 piston singles says the technology could also be applied in Part 23 business jets and turboprops, at a fraction of the price of current-generation FDRs.
Just as those responsible for fighting wars now talk in terms of “effects”–as opposed to material assets–when discussing battle management and the equipment available to them, so defense contractors increasingly talk about “solutions” rather than products.
Planners at the U.S. Central Air Forces Command have begun conducting an assessment of equipment requirements to boost the Iraqi air force’s counterinsurgency and intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance capability. One option under consideration could involve light attack aircraft such as the Raytheon T-6A/B Texan II turboprop single.
The number of business jets registered in Middle Eastern countries has grown by about one-fifth over the past 10 years. By the standards of other still emerging markets like Europe (45 percent growth over the same period), the Middle East’s 18-percent fleet growth doesn’t inspire awe. It does, however, dwarf the 8-percent hike seen in Asia–a market over which most business aircraft makers salivate.
The Asia/Pacific region is continuing to provide Raytheon with ample opportunity to demonstrate its versatility as a solutions provider across a wider range of capabilities spanning air traffic control, pilot training, missile defense systems and security. The U.S. group now has clients and partners spanning a vast triangle between India, Japan and Australia.
Is Raytheon Aircraft for sale? There isn’t much doubt about that. But will parent company Raytheon Company find a buyer? That’s the more difficult question.
Much in evidence here at the Asian Aerospace show this week are the four competitors for the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s basic/primary trainer competition: the Aermacchi M-311, Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano, Pilatus PC-21 and the Raytheon T-6B. The presence of these aircraft in Singapore coincides with the latest evaluation by the RSAF following earlier flights at the manufacturers’ test sites.
Late last month, the FAA awarded Raytheon full Part 25 type certification for the Hawker 4000, some 10 years after the super-midsize jet was announced, five years later than originally planned and three months after the company received FAA exemptions to certain regulatory conditions that it will have to meet down the road. By year-end Raytheon hopes to receive approval for flight into known icing.