The life of a component supplier is a difficult one in the aerospace and business aviation industries. Being dependent on the airframe manufacturers for business severely limits a company’s ability to expand to new markets. But at least one engine manufacturer is having a good go of it these days.
Tussenhausen, Germany-based Grob-Werke made an unexpected announcement yesterday at the Paris Air Show, revealing that it had designed and built an all-composite light business jet that it plans to fly next month. The 13,889-pound-mtow SPn Utility Jet will seat up to nine passengers and have an approach speed of around 100 knots, balanced field length of 3,000 feet and a landing distance (ISA, sl, mlw) of 2,950 feet.
Pratt & Whitney Canada and Cessna announced at the Paris Air Show this week PowerAdvantage Plus (PA+), an expanded pay-by-the-hour maintenance program for P&WC-powered Citations. This jointly developed program will provide Citation operators “with the opportunity to enter into a pay-by-the-hour program that covers parts, rental engines and engine shop labor, in addition to certain consumables,” the two companies said.
The simultaneous dual flameout of a Garuda Indonesia Airlines 737 and its subsequent ditching on Jan. 16, 2002, has led the NTSB to issue two recommendations targeting FAA turbofan rain and hail ingestion engine certification standards. The CFM56-3-B1 engines failed when the aircraft flew through a thunderstorm and encountered “extremely heavy” precipitation and hail on the approach.
Elliott Aviation of Moline, Ill., has authorization to do full line service and maintenance on the Williams-Rolls FJ44-1A/2C and -2A turbofans used on the Cessna CitationJet and Beechcraft Premier I, respectively.
“The Williams-Rolls authorization is one more step in our continued efforts to provide additional value to our customers,” said company president Wynn Elliott.
After selling what it claims is 2,100 Eclipse 500s at between $837,500 and $950,000 apiece, Eclipse Aviation has increased the price on new orders for its very light twinjet to $1.175 million (all prices in June 2000 dollars). First flight of the six-seat aircraft powered by its intended production engine–a pair of 900-pound-thrust Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F turbofans–is scheduled for December 31.
In late May at the EBACE show in Geneva, Dassault unveiled a new version of the Falcon 900. Dubbed the Falcon 900DX, the trijet is a clone of the 900EX, except for its fuel tanks. Dassault salespeople, however, can arguably talk about value for money–the 900DX’s price is hardly higher than that of the 900C it replaces ($31.95 million versus $31.6 million).
Tbilisi Aircraft Manufacturing (TAM) of Tbilisi, Georgia, in the CIS, in early January terminated its agreement with Maverick Jets of Melbourne, Fla., to certify and manufacture the Maverick Jets Leader, a twin-engine, kit-built very light jet. As recently as the Dubai Air Show in early December, TAM displayed a photograph of the Leader and included it in its sales material. Dr.
Safire Aircraft has selected Keith Products to supply the air conditioning for its very light jet, which is currently under development. The vapor-cycle system will be standard equipment on the six-place twinjet. Miami-based Safire also named Barry Controls to provide vibration isolators and mounting structure for the airplane’s two Williams International FJ33 turbofans.
The ranks of small business jets are about to swell with the imminent buildup of new sub-10,000-pound jets certified to FAA Part 23 regulations. Priced from $1.5 to $4.5 million, these jets include the newly certified Cessna Mustang and Eclipse 500, and the in-development Adam A700, HondaJet and Embraer Phenom 100.