If you want to see the inside of a really big business jet–one that’s the size of an airliner–at the NBAA 2013 static display at Henderson Executive Airport, you may encounter a silk rope draped across the handrails at the bottom of the passenger stairs. A professionally attired man or woman standing by the rope will explain that the aircraft is being shown and then politely suggest, “Please come back later.” Later could take a long time.
This month Bombardier commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Learjet’s first flight even as the company struggles to launch a larger new flagship, the Model 85, and switch to composite airframe construction. Since 1963, Learjet has become one of the world’s most iconic brands, often generically misused to describe any make/model of private jet, and a conspicuous sign of affluence. Early Learjet owners included crooner Frank Sinatra and industrialist Louise Timken, and their aircraft were a far cry from the comfortable cabins of today.
Cessna is completing certification flight-testing on its new $4.395 million M2 light jet and expects certification within “a few weeks,” company vice president Brad Thress told AIN. Earlier this week, Garmin provided the Wichita aircraft manufacturer with the final data load for the aircraft’s new Intrinzic cockpit, which features a touchscreen G3000 avionics system.
Once you’ve watched a professional flight crew fly a business jet equipped with Safe Flight’s AutoPower autothrottle system, you’ll wonder why autothrottles aren’t standard on more airplanes. While they offer efficiency and passenger comfort benefits, it’s the safety aspects that make autothrottles well worthwhile.
When I pushed the thrust levers forward for takeoff in the newest version of Cessna’s Citation Sovereign, not only did the big jet surge forward but something else interesting happened: at about 75 percent N1 the power levers moved forward on their own and set takeoff power precisely, rather than require Shannon Peterson, senior pilot flight operations, to make the fine adjustments for takeoff power. Shortly thereafter we reached rotation speed, I pitched into the V-bars on the flight director and the powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PW306Ds launched the Sovereign skyward.
Constant Aviation has completed its seventh winglet modification on the Citation X. “This is a great solution,” Stephen Maiden, president of Constant Aviation, told AIN. “It provides increased speed at higher altitudes, improved takeoff performance, reduced time-to-climb and increased range and payload.” The modification takes about 45 days to complete and the work is done at the Cleveland facility.
Airbus has started market research focused on the needs and preferences of the world’s growing population of billionaires. Announcing the project in Moscow on September 9, Airbus Corporate Jets marketing director David Velupillai said that the investigation should be completed by October, with the results to be made public in a report during the following month. The study is intended to look beyond purely aircraft and travel, and will try to collect a broad array of data on billionaire’s lifestyles, habits and hobbies.
Duncan Aviation recently delivered its 56th pair of Aviation Partners winglets installed on Dassault Falcon 900s and 2000s. Morrie Harris’s 15-person airframe team at Duncan Aviation’s Battle Creek, Mich. facility performed 36 of the mods. Team Harris has more than five years of experience installing winglets, and Duncan Aviation has several other teams in Battle Creek as well as its Lincoln, Neb. facility with experience completing the modification.
Last May, Aviation Partners issued Service Bulletin SBH-13-001 limiting winglet-equipped 800-series Hawkers to a maximum permissible altitude of 34,000 feet. The result of reported vibrations and aileron/wing oscillations, the SB prompted the FAA to issue an Airworthiness Directive calling for operators to comply with the service bulletin within 45 days.
BLR Aerospace has appointed Premium Jet as Brazilian dealer for its winglet modifications for the Beechcraft King Air family. The Part 145-approved repair station, based at Afonso Pena International Airport in Curitiba, is approved to sell and install winglets and LED lights for the King Air 90, 200 and 300 series twin turboprops. The performance-enhancing modification has already been approved by Brazil’s ANAC aviation authority.