Today it’s hard to believe but in 2001 when the new European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) was launched not everyone was convinced it would be a success. Now, with the 10th annual event being held this week, EBACE has established itself as the undisputed gathering place for Europe’s business aviation community and indeed for the wider global industry. Here AIN reflects on
Very light jet
The UK’s Oxford Airport (Booth No. 1359) is achieving recession-busting traffic figures. For the period from April 2009 to March 2010 there was a 31.6-percent increase in the numbers of all visiting aircraft (including scheduled airline services) and a 12-percent increase in all business aviation movements.
Cessna Aircraft has brought 10 of the company’s current in-production fleet to the EBACE 2010 static display, including eight Citation jets (Mustang, CJ1+, CJ2+, CJ3, the newly certified CJ4, XLS+, Sovereign and X), a Grand Caravan single-engine turboprop and a piston-engine 400 Corvalis TT.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would revise the requirement for function and reliability (F&R) flight testing to include turbine-powered airplanes with an mtow of less than 6,000 pounds. The requirement adds significant costs to certification of new airplanes and is a threshold that the Eclipse 500 VLJ was able to remain under when it was certified.
With accumulated flight time approaching 10,000 hours, some 350 pilots have been trained to fly Embraer’s new Phenom 100 very light jet, more than 100 of which have been delivered, including around 30 to Europe. The Brazilian airframer’s backlog includes 600-plus Phenom 100s and the larger Phenom 300 light jets.
Embraer plans to appoint five more European authorized service centers (ASCs) for the new Phenom 100 very light jet. The region’s market is “very dynamic and changing quickly,” said Antonio Martini, the Brazilian airframer’s vice president for executive jet customer support and services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
The economic downturn brought a much needed reality check to parts of the business aviation industry that were becoming seriously unsustainable, according to ExecuJet Aviation CEO Niall Olver.
Embraer is ahead of schedule in achieving its self-imposed 2005 goal of becoming “a major player in the business aviation market by 2015.” The Brazilian manufacturer has come to EBACE with four examples of its current product range–the Phenom 100 and 300 light jets, the super-midsize Legacy 600 and the large-cabin Lineage 1000.
Innovative Solutions and Support (IS&S) has added electronic chart and XM satellite weather display to the avionics upgrade it provides for the Eclipse 500. The company signed a contract with Eclipse Aerospace late last month to add the upgrade following FAA STC and TSO approvals.
Before Eclipse Aviation declared bankruptcy and ended production of the Eclipse 500 in late 2008, the company manufactured about 260 of the very light twinjets.
Of these, some 30 were equipped with Avio NG avionics. At press time, seven aircraft had been upgraded for full flight-into-known-icing (FIKI) and Avio NG 1.5 avionics. It’s fair to assume that eventually all of the remaining “NG airplanes” will be upgraded.