The fractional aircraft industry continued to grow during the 12 months ending April 30. Shares at the four major providers and 16 regional/local companies tracked by AvData of Wichita increased 7.2 percent, to more than 6,350. During the same period, the combined fleet expanded 5.1 percent, to 832 aircraft. Flexjet, alone among the four major providers, lost ground during the period.
Cessna’s new and expanded Citation service center in Orlando, Fla., opened for business on June 21. The 155,000-sq-ft facility, which replaces the original 47,275-sq-ft center built there in 1983, will be further enlarged to nearly 200,000 sq ft by October. Cessna is also building a massive Citation service center at its headquarters in Wichita.
Jim Ziegler, v-p and general manager of Bombardier business aviation services, and Keith Miller, v-p of engineering for Learjet in Wichita, have left Bombardier Aerospace. Ziegler’s decision to leave the company was based on personal reasons, and he plans to remain in the Wichita area. Miller had scheduled his retirement before Bombardier’s major restructuring began earlier this year and will relocate to Florida.
Cessna Aircraft president and CEO Jack Pelton said last month that the Wichita company’s newest business jet, the Citation Mustang, will be assembled at its Independence, Kan. plant.
GE Transportation Aircraft Engines, through Unison Industries, has acquired Aircraft Parts Corporation (APC). Founded in 1960, APC has its headquarters in Long Island, N.Y., and a service center in Wichita. The privately held company manufactures and repairs aircraft electrical systems, including starter-generators and generator control units for business/commuter jet, helicopter and military applications.
The first Citation Mustang test aircraft was towed from Cessna’s Pawnee facility in Wichita late last month for initial engine runs. According to a company spokeswoman, the engine run was one of the remaining systems tests to be completed before first flight, which is officially “this summer” but could occur this month.
Tim Travis, media relations manager for Raytheon Aircraft, died December 9. He was 46. Travis joined the corporate communications department at Raytheon Aircraft in 1997. He is survived by his wife, Nancy, four children, his parents, two sisters, two step-brothers and a step-sister. A memorial fund has been established with the Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Sedgwick County, 219 N. St. Francis, Wichita, KS 67202.
Although a strike last summer at Learjet facilities in Wichita held down aircraft deliveries in the third quarter of this year, Bombardier reported that it delivered 143 business jets in the first nine months of its fiscal year ending October 31, compared with 132 in the corresponding nine months in 2005.
Williams International (Booth No. 5346) is expanding its on-the-wing hot section inspections (check 3) program on installed FJ44-1A engines to other FJ44 engine models.
The Cessna Citation Mustang prototype made its first flight from McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita on April 23 at 10:26 a.m. CDT. Test pilots Scotty Jergenson and Dave Bonifield flew the very light jet (VLJ) on a 2.5-hour mission, climbing to 11,000 feet, where the airplane underwent various stability and control tests, including cycling of the landing gear, flaps and speed brakes. The flight concluded at 12:47 p.m.