The third-quarter airplane shipment numbers released last month by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) starkly demonstrate the effect the economic downturn has had on the OEMs so far this year, following last year’s record deliveries.
Very light jet
Air Partner is expanding its 25-hour prepaid JetCard by adding two new aircraft categories–very light jet and super-midsize–within its European service area. The categories are also included in the company’s new 10-hour Winter JetCard, which is aimed primarily at the ski market. Air Partner deems a VLJ ideal for short flights from the UK to Dublin, Dusseldorf and Geneva, among others.
The Middle East could lead the troubled business aviation industry out of its lingering downturn. This was one of the headline projections from the latest edition of Honeywell Aerospace’s (Stand A470) annual market forecast published last month at the National Business Aviation Association Convention in the U.S.
The marketing hype surrounding very light jets (VLJs) has “largely subsided,” according to Brian Foley, president of business aviation consulting firm Brian Foley Associates, and the VLJ “has yet to prove that it’s anything more than a subcompact business jet.
Deliveries of turbine-powered business airplanes will continue to fall through the end of next year before beginning a slow but steady recovery in 2011, according to a market forecast released by avionics maker Rockwell Collins. The outlook projects that around 600 turbine business airplanes will roll out of factories next year, with the market remaining relatively flat in 2011 and 2012 before rebounding to pre-recession levels in 2013.
Eclipse Aerospace held a supplier summit on October 27 for manufacturers and vendors of Eclipse EA500 very light jet components. Eclipse Aerospace purchased the assets of bankrupt manufacturer Eclipse Aviation on September 1 and is focusing on supporting the existing fleet of EA500 VLJs.
On the eve of last month’s NBAA convention, engine and avionics manufacturer Honeywell released its 18th annual 10-year market forecast, projecting a serious near-term dip in business jet deliveries but a gradual climb back to the heights reached during last year’s production peak.
Aircraft leasing magnate Steven Udvar-Hazy will be awarded this year’s Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, for “innovative aerospace business practices, improved aircraft design, piloting skills and selfless philanthropy, ensuring preservation of our aerospace history.” Udvar-Hazy’s multimillion-dollar donation allowed the construction of the National Air and Space Museum’s annex at Dulles Airport.
Looking ahead to an economic recovery, and to fulfilling its stated intention to become a major player in the business aviation industry, Embraer provided one of
the surprises at the NBAA Convention last month by introducing a new business jet–the large-cabin Legacy 650.
JetSet Aviation Holdings’s acquisition of the type certificate and associated rights for the MS760 ParisJet could well breathe new life into an aircraft that former owner Socata had probably written off. Designed, built and originally certified in France in the 1950s by Morane-Saulnier, the predecessor of Socata, the new owner calls the MS760 the world’s first very light jet.