JetBed began offering its patented design in 2008 and it has since become the gold standard for sleeping flat in a small aircraft cabin. Its beds weigh 20 to 26 pounds and deploy from a single integral bag when placed on the floor between two or four facing seats. The foundation inflates in less than a minute with the aid of a portable, rechargeable battery pump.
Kestrel Aircraft president Alan Klapmeier best summed up the state of affairs for new turboprop builders last month: “Capital formation is broken in the United States. To do a program like this you need to find all of the different (capital) sources and put them together brick by brick. A large part is economic development assistance. It is just the state of business today.”
Blackhawk Modifications has entered into a service agreement with ExecuJet Africa for engine upgrades. Under the terms of the agreement ExecuJet will facilitate Blackhawk performance upgrades for turboprop aircraft owners in Africa.
Kestrel Aircraft brought a mockup of its new, wider cabin for its in-development single-engine turboprop to the NBAA Convention in Las Vegas. According to company chairman and CEO Alan Klapmeier, Kestrel has been busy refining the design of the aircraft formerly known as the Farnborough F1.
Rockwell Collins is moving aggressively into the light jet and turboprop market with a new version of Pro Line Fusion targeted at smaller aircraft.
“For the first time this year, some long-anticipated good news came for pre-owned business jet retail sale transactions,” JetNet said yesterday. “In the first eight months of 2011, the year-to-date average asking price increased 3.5 percent while the industry maintained double-digit growth at 11.4 percent.” While turboprop asking prices declined by 1.5 percent over the same period, transactions still climbed by 11.7 percent.
Business aircraft flight activity in the U.S. last month mostly maintained status quo from a year ago, barely increasing by 0.2 percent, according to TraqPak data from aviation services company Argus. As it has for much of the year, Part 91 flying led the pack, with a year-over-year climb of 4.9 percent. Fractional flying, which has trended positive in recent months, contracted by 0.6 percent last month.
While deliveries of new business aircraft lagged significantly in the first six months of 2011 on a year-over-year basis, JetNet said pre-owned business aircraft sale transactions between January and July have actually climbed. Used business jet sales were up 11.2 percent in this seven-month period versus last year, and turboprop sales increased 3.7 percent.
Pre-owned business jet and turboprop markets showed early signs of improvement in the first half of this year, which is expected to be a second year of correction leading to sustained growth in 2012, according to market information provider JetNet. The company reported 15.3-percent growth in pre-owned business jet retail sale transactions through June, compared with the same period last year.
Australia-based GippsAero launched a stretched turboprop derivative of its piston-powered GA8 Airvan, in addition to expanding its footprint in North America. Certified production of the GA10 turboprop single is expected to begin in 2013.