The bankrupt status of Eclipse Aviation finally ended in August after Eclipse Aerospace bought the assets of the very light jet manufacturer for $40 million. On September 1, Eclipse Aerospace founders Mason Holland and Michael Press joined Albuquerque mayor Martin Chávez to celebrate the reopening of the factory at Eclipse’s headquarters at Albuquerque International Air- port.
Very light 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 on Friday by avionics maker Rockwell Collins.
European very light jet (VLJ) air-taxi service Blink has opened a second base at Geneva. The operator is also about to take delivery of the seventh of 30 Cessna Citation Mustangs that are on firm order and plans to base two of the twinjets in Geneva. The rest of the fleet is currently based at the London-area Farnborough Airport or nearby Blackbushe Airport.
To streamline its approvals for very light jets (VLJs), the FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on August 17 to amend the applicable certification standards for Part 23 jet-powered airplanes. The agency said the NPRM is necessary to eliminate the current workload of processing exemptions, special conditions and equivalent levels of safety findings necessary to certify VLJs under Part 23.
“Only in 2012 will [business jet] deliveries start growing again,” Embraer executive vice president Luis Carlos Affonso said in a pre-LABACE press briefing. He expects 2010 and 2011 will be “difficult years” for the business aviation industry, but noted that there are already signs that the industry is starting to recover. He said the company will meet Phenom delivery goals, if it can build the airplanes fast enough.
Bend, Ore.-based Stratos Aircraft on Tuesday began taking refundable escrowed $50,000 deposits for its single-engine Stratos 714 very light jet. Company chief technology officer Carsten Sundin told AIN that the first 25 aircraft will be sold for $2 million each, after which there will be a modest, but as-yet-undetermined, price increase.
GP Aerospace, a startup company formed in São José dos Campos, Brazil, by former Embraer technical director Guido Pessotti, has unveiled to AIN plans for a so-called “personal light jet” that would be smaller than currently available very light jets. The GP-210 is built around two 740-pounds-thrust DGen390 turbofan engines, which are currently being developed by France-based Price Induction.
It might surprise some to hear this, but the state of the economy was not on the minds of everyone at last month’s European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE).
Duncan Aviation (Booth No. 227) is back at the EBACE show looking to add to its base of foreign customers who already account for about 15 percent of the U.S. group’s business. “The services we provide include large multi-shop work scopes where we are able to offer very efficient turn times, as well as more specific accessory and engine repair work or parts sales,” Duncan president Aaron Hilkemann told EBACE Convention News.
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification manager for general aviation Roger Hardy said VLJs are classified as high-performance aircraft (HPA). However, he admitted that the Part 23 rules are “frankly not geared to HPAs the way Part 25 is. It was drafted in the 1960s and has barely kept pace, with special conditions used to supplement the code to cover new technology such as FADECs and composite structures.”