Sales transactions of pre-owned business jets and turboprops, as well as turbine helicopters, posted healthy increases from a year ago, according to data released yesterday by business aviation information firm JetNet. From January through October 31, business jet sales transactions climbed by 16 percent, followed by turbine helicopters (up 15.2 percent) and turboprops (up 4.5 percent).
It’s no secret that Cessna is in the early stages of developing a new single-engine turboprop–one designed for fast, comfortable traveling and intended to complement the company’s highly successful utilitarian turboprop single, the Caravan.
Business aircraft flight activity returned to positive territory last month from a year ago, but just barely at 0.6 percent, according to TraqPak data released yesterday by aviation services company Argus. Fractional flying led with a 1.8-percent increase year-over-year, while Part 91 corporate and Part 135 charter activity rose just 0.5 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively.
General aviation aircraft shipment data released today by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) starkly demonstrate the continued effects the sour economy has had on the OEMs over the past two years. In the first nine months, GA airplane shipments numbered 1,357 units, down 14.5 percent from 1,588 in the same nine months last year. Billings in the nine-month period slipped 2.5 percent from a year ago to $13.47 billion.
Taking advantage of the big stage at the NBAA Convention last month, Piper Aircraft introduced its evolved and renamed PiperJet Altaire, showing a mockup of the redesigned fuselage and cabin interior and describing the aircraft as “the next step” in the evolution of its single-engine very light jet program.
Compared with August 2009, there were fewer used business jets for sale in August this year, according to statistics compiled by JetNet (Booth No. 8401). There were also slightly more turboprop aircraft on the preowned market and almost exactly the same number of turbine helicopters for sale at the end of August 2009 and 2010, but slightly more piston helicopters on the market this year.
As business aviation flight hours have increased over the past year, the number of industry accidents also rose slightly, according to statistics released last week by business aviation safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates. During the first nine months of this year, the U.S. business jet and turboprop fleet experienced 34 accidents, including five fatal that resulted in 14 deaths.
A new General Electric turboprop engine, derived from the 7,500-shp GE38-1B turboshaft engine, could become available by the middle of the decade. GE has designated the new engine study CPX38, and is basing it on the turboshaft that will power the U.S. Marine Corps’ new heavy-lift helicopter, the Sikorsky CH-53K. This could mean that the CPX38 would be in the 5,000- to 6,000-shp range.
Among turbofan manufacturers, Williams International remains tops with AIN readers for the support it provides to operators. Rolls-Royce, combined into one listing this year for the first time instead of being separated into R-R and R-R Deutschland, takes second place and, by barely a gnat’s whisker, bumps Pratt & Whitney Canada to third place.
Hawker Beechcraft 1900D, Denver, Colo., June 12, 2010–After landing at Denver International Airport, the turboprop twin was substantially damaged when its left main landing gear partially collapsed. The airplane was returning to the airport after the crew heard a loud bang as they retracted the gear on takeoff for the flight to Cheyenne, Wyo.