The conclusion of delegates at the Business Aviation Europe event at Biggin Hill Airport near London last month (September 14-15) seemed to be that things can only get better. But there was little hard evidence that this sentiment will be enough to push back against strong economic tides that threaten to pull the industry under once more.
Very light jet
Following what was described on May 2 as the retirement of 52-year-old Cessna chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton, Textron chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly headed to Wichita to take charge of day-to-day operations at the 84-year-old aircraft manufacturer. At press time, Textron had not named a permanent replacement to take the helm at Cessna.
A 20-year business aircraft market forecast released by Bombardier at EBACE yesterday predicts a return to sustained growth. According to the report, some 24,000 business jets, not including very light jets, worth approximately $626 billion will be delivered from 2011 to 2030. In the first half of the forecast period, 10,000 deliveries worth $260 billion are anticipated, and 14,000 deliveries worth $366 billion are expected from 2021 to 2030.
Sikorsky Aircraft completed a “minority equity investment” in Albuquerque, N.M.-based Eclipse Aerospace yesterday. Neither company disclosed the value of the deal. An agreement “in principle” for Sikorsky to take a “substantial” minority stake in Eclipse was revealed in October at the NBAA Convention, and since then both parties have remained mum on the deal until yesterday’s announcement.
Innovative Solutions & Support is almost finished with the development of an integrated flight management system for the Eclipse 500 very light jet. The new FMS will enable coupled LPV approaches, airway route navigation, RNP procedures, parallel offsets, user-defined waypoints and storage for up to 99 flight plans, among other features.
As the industry sees glimmers of hope that the downturn is finally ending, engine and avionics manufacturer Honeywell anticipates at least one more down year in 2011 before the start of a rebound cycle.
Flight management systems are coming for the Eclipse 500 very light jet and other aircraft, thanks to a new program from Innovative Solutions & Support (IS& S). IS&S (Booth No. 4443) and Eclipse Aerospace (Booth No. 6667) have announced that the avionics manufacturer will provide Eclipse 500 operators with the new AvioNG FMS system.
At this year's NBAA show, while attendees search for signs that the industry downturn is finally ending, engine, equipment and avionics manufacturer Honeywell sees at least one more down year in 2011 before the start of a rebound cycle.
Piper Aircraft has been promoting its new PiperJet in the form of a proof-of-concept aircraft based on the PA-46-500TP Meridian turboprop-single platform. However, officials with the Vero Beach, Fla.-based manufacturer told AIN today that it will appear at the NBAA Convention next month with “the next step” in the evolution of its single-engine very light jet, complete with a full-size mockup.
Since buying the assets of bankrupt Eclipse Aviation last year, Eclipse Aerospace has resumed all the modification programs necessary to bring the EA500 very light jet to its latest airframe and avionics configurations and launched campaigns to fix continuing problems. The most recent is a windshield modification that helps dissipate precipitation static.