Despite the recession, a significant number of new aircraft programs remain largely on track. OEMs such as Cessna, Dassault Falcon Jet, Embraer and Gulfstream all appear to be staying close to their development schedules while Hawker Beechcraft has pushed back the Premier II until 2012 (from 2010). Newcomers Honda and Spectrum appear to have suffered some minor slippage, sending the earliest deliveries of those aircraft into 2011.
LoPresti Aviation received FAA STC approval for BoomBeam high-intensity discharge (HID) lights on the Cessna Citation Excel/XLS. The company’s metal halide-xenon bulbs contain no filament and, as such, come with a 5,000-hour/five-year warranty, LoPresti said. Further, the HID light system draws less power than conventional incandescent bulbs, while at the same time offering five times the brightness of a 100-Watt sealed beam light.
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.
Egyptian charter operator Smart Aviation is preparing to take delivery of the first two Cessna Citation Sovereigns to be certified for medical evacuation work using the LifePort dual-patient cabin interior package. In June, LifePort certified its Patient Loading Utility System for use with a single patient on the Sovereign.
Cessna joined the wings and fuselage of the third CJ4 in mid-May, marking major assembly of the first CJ4 in Cessna’s new assembly line using production tooling. The first two production CJ4s were also assembled on production tooling, but not on the new assembly line.
Dr. Sam Williams, founder and chairman of Williams International, died yesterday at the age of 88, according to a statement issued by his company. Williams patented the small turbofan engine and built on his company’s successful development of tiny cruise missile engines to break into the rarefied world of civil turbine engine manufacturers with introduction of the FJ44 line of turbofans.
Spectrum Aeronautical sister company Rocky Mountain Composites has completed a test article version of the all-composite S.40 Freedom midsize jet fuselage at its Spanish Fork, Utah manufacturing facility. The fuselage manufacturing demonstrator (FMD) is the first of a series and was built as a single piece using co-cured carbon/polymer material, also known as the company’s FibeX process.
Jet Aviation’s Zurich maintenance center has installed a precision area navigation system (P-Rnav) in a Cessna Citation III, a first for the model. P-Rnav equipment enables improved track-keeping accuracy required in some European terminal airspace.
Innovative Solutions & Support is preparing to submit the FAA paperwork necessary to secure a supplemental type certificate allowing installations of the Exton, Pa. firm’s AdViz Cessna Citation retrofit avionics system.
A Citation V completed its first test flight with the IS&S cockpit in April, following two years of development. STC approval is expected this month.
Charter operator FlyingGroup has opened new bases in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam and also in Luxembourg. The Belgium-based company already operates jets out of Cannes and Paris. The company is active in aircraft management, charter, consultancy and maintenance. Operating a fleet of 23 aircraft, FlyingGroup is an authorized Cessna Citation service center for the Mustang and the Citation XL/XLS/XLS+.