After the NetJets-operated Raytheon Hawker that collided with a sailplane in Nevada on August 28 (see page 106) prepared to land, one of the jet’s passengers cinched up his seat belt and the inboard portion of the seat belt detached. The passenger moved to another seat and the same thing happened.
The impressive long-term economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region over the past few decades has not yet yielded a commensurate growth in business aviation. The number of business jets registered in the region has increased by barely 8 percent over the last 10 years, according to London-based aviation consulting group Airclaims.
The new FlightSafety International Learning Center at Farnborough Airport, UK, received its first group of pilots on July 18. They were trained using the facility’s three Cessna Citation Bravo simulators.
NASA last month awarded grants to fund a five-month study on how to design and build an airplane that could demonstrate technology to reduce the sonic boom during supersonic flight. The four industry teams–Boeing Phantom Works, Raytheon Aircraft, Gulfstream/Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin/Cessna–have each received a $1 million grant.
Deliveries of the Beech King Air C90-GT, a more powerful version of the series intended to compete with very light jets, are scheduled to start in December. Two 750-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-135 turboprops will replace the current 550-shp PT6A-21s. Raytheon said the engine upgrade will boost the C90’s cruise speed to 270 knots from 240 knots. Price is $2.95 million.
Thomas Seeber was promoted to president and CEO of Pentastar Aviation. He was previously president and COO.
Charles (“Charlie”) Tooley was named vice president of the aviation practice for Accordia. He was most recently the aviation regional practice leader for Marsh Aviation in Kansas City.
Chinese operator Hainan Airlines announced at the Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition that it will open an authorized service center for Raytheon’s Premier I and Hawker 800XP. This is the first time a general aviation manufacturer has launched a partnership with a service provider in mainland China.
Machinists at Raytheon Aircraft in Wichita are working under a new contract after failing last month to marshal enough votes for a strike. The Wichita Eagle reported that union members had voted to reject the company’s proposed three-year labor agreement, but they did not have the votes required for a work stoppage. Because the strike vote fell short, the contract was ratified.
In last month’s overview of the fractional aircraft industry, several consultants characterized Cleveland-based Flight Options as the least financially sound of the four major fractional providers. While official Flight Options pronouncements paint a rosier picture, recent data suggests that the fractional consultants weren’t far off the mark.
Deliveries of new turbine business airplanes–particularly from Bombardier, Cessna, Gulfstream and Raytheon–in the first half of this year shot up more than 31 percent compared with the same period last year, according to the second-quarter shipment report from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released recently.