Uvalde, Texas-based Sierra Industries delivered its 50th Cessna Citation with the Williams International FJ44-2A engine retrofit last week. This milestone Citation was handed over to customer Dr. Howard Tobin, a director of the Citation Jet Pilots Association. Including the company’s previous Eagle 400 modifications and FJ44-3A upgrades for Citation IIs and S/IIs, Sierra has performed engine retrofits on more than 70 Citations.
Sierra Industries and Clifford Development have formed a joint venture called NewJETz to develop a Williams International FJ44-4 engine retrofit program. The 3,600-pound-thrust engine retrofit will power legacy Cessna Citation 550 and 560 series jets, including the Citation V, Bravo, Ultra and Encore. The new modification is called eVolution, and NewJETz will also offer owners of these aircraft avionics and other upgrades.
Jim Rice is determined to see his single-engine VisionAire Vantage jet program through to certification and delivery. “We’ve got a long way to go but I would like to finish this,” he told AIN. The newly formed VisionAire Jets held a community awareness event at Hickory Regional Airport in North Carolina yesterday to introduce his company to the Catawba Valley, where up to 600 jobs could be created if the Vantage jet goes into production.
Williams International announced on Tuesday that its FJ44-3AP turbofan has gained EASA type approval. The 3,502-pound-thrust engine, which received FAA certification last May, powers the Nextant 400XT. Compared with the FJ44-3, the -3AP has 8 percent more takeoff thrust and 13 percent more cruise thrust, while weight was reduced 3 percent and cruise specific fuel consumption improved by 1.5 percent.
Nextant Aerospace of Cleveland, Ohio, will hand over the keys to the first of its remanufactured 400XTs at the NBAA 2011 Convention in Las Vegas at 2 p.m. on Monday.
Cirrus president and CEO Brent Wouters revealed during the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh show this week that the company’s prototype SF50 Vision jet is in “commodity jurisdiction” at Williams International. The Williams FJ33 engine that powers the Vision jet may be subject to U.S. government concerns about exporting technology to China.
In the wake of mounting losses, Hawker Beechcraft chairman and CEO Bill Boisture announced on Friday that the Wichita OEM will “temporarily suspend production of the Hawker 400XP to realign supply with demand.” According to an SEC filing, the company expects to cease production and sales of the light jet for two years, with plans to resume production in early 2013.
The flight-test program is continuing apace for Nextant Aerospace’s Beechjet 400 conversion as it moves closer to certification. The Cleveland-based company paused the testing last month on its first Williams International FJ44-3AP powered 400XT to fly it nonstop from Mojave, Calif., to Atlanta, for an appearance in the static display at the NBAA Convention.
At this year's NBAA convention, Nextant Aerospace is making its debut in the static display with not one, but two of its new 400XT Beechjet conversions. The Cleveland-based company (Booth No.
Nextant Aerospace has begun full-power ground runs of its Beechjet-based 400XT with the Williams International FJ44-3AP engines. This marks the final phase of the certification process for the 400XT, which also includes new Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics and a zero-time airframe. Engine certification is progressing on schedule for next year, the company said, with first flight pending at press time.
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