South Africa’s National Airways is opening a new maintenance operation for business jets at Johannesburg Lanseria Airport. The Jet Centre facility officially opened on October 1 and it will primarily support Raytheon’s entire jet line, including current-production types and the full spectrum of British Aerospace HS.125s. National Airways claims it will offer a level of service previously available only in Europe and North America.
Nine months after reaching a tentative sales agreement, Raytheon Aircraft and NetJets signed a contract for the purchase of 50 Hawker 4000s (née Horizons) for the latter company’s fractional fleet. Deliveries are scheduled to start next year and continue through 2013. In mid-2003 NetJets canceled a 1999 order for 50 of the jets because of certification delays.
Raytheon issued a new safety communiqué to advise Beech 1900 operators of another misleading illustration in the type’s maintenance manuals. The notice represents the latest in a series of manual revisions prompted by the crash of two Beech 1900D airliners that killed 23 people in 2003.
UK operator Club328 has launched a block-charter program called SkyClub. The entry-level package gives customers 10 hours in six-seat Raytheon Premier Is for £30,000 ($52,500).
In December, Club328 bought four low-time pre-owned Premier Is from Raytheon Aircraft. The first two had entered service by the middle of last month and the other two were due to join the Southampton-based operation by the end of this month.
Full FAA certification of the super-midsize Hawker 4000 (née Horizon) has slipped again–from the end of last year to early this month, a Raytheon Aircraft spokesman told AIN. The delay, he said, stems from the company’s recently opting to install lightning protection on RC5–the function and reliability (F&R) test aircraft–before, instead of after, FAA approval.
Four reported incidents of in-flight loss of hydraulic fluid led to an emergency AD for 139 Premier Is. None of the incidents led to any mishaps. The problem has been traced to the failure of a hydraulic tube assembly in the left engine. The January 20 directive requires a visual inspection of the affected part before further flight and subsequent inspections at intervals of 50 hours.
First revealed publicly by AIN (December, page 20), but still not reported in other aviation media, the aerospace industry’s hitherto secret Project Mercury has, as forecast, now been acknowledged as a potential supplier of a turnkey nationwide ADS-B network for the FAA.
Last month Raytheon Aircraft received FAA certification for the Hawker 850XP, essentially a Hawker 800XP with homegrown winglets. Raytheon said the outwardly canted winglets, which are constructed of lightweight composite material, enhance aerodynamic performance, boosting range by up to 100 nm and reducing time-to-climb, as well as allowing higher airspeeds and block speeds.
Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita last month announced it is acquiring BAE Systems’ aerostructures division. To be known as Spirit AeroSystems Europe, the enterprise will produce structural components for Airbus and Boeing airliners, as well as for the Raytheon Hawker 800XP.
Last month the Flight Options pilots overwhelmingly voted for union representation under International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 1108. According to the National Mediation Board, which conducted the election, 67 percent of the 795 eligible line pilots at the fractional provider were in favor of the union. Local 1108 also represents the pilots at competing fractional provider NetJets.