It’s no secret that Embraer is rapidly adding new business jets to its product line, but what’s interesting about that is that the Brazilian company seems to be the only aircraft manufacturer expanding its offerings to compete with super-prolific Cessna.
Ken Harness has been named COO of Diamond Aircraft’s North American operations. He comes from Eclipse Aviation, where he was vice president of engineering. In his new role he will oversee engineering, flight test, manufacturing and quality for all Diamond aircraft, including the new D-Jet, at the company’s facility in London, Ontario.
During the convention, Cessna took signed orders for two Citation Xs, one Citation CJ1, one Caravan and one 206 Turbo Stationair–all for delivery this year. “We are extremely pleased with the outcome of EBACE,” said Cessna senior v-p of sales marketing Roger Whyte.
As we embark on the final and historically most active quarter of the year, buyer activity by most accounts seems to be building steam. While the worldwide inventory of jets is holding relatively steady right now, in May it dipped to 1,810 aircraft, a level not experienced since July 2001.
Honeywell projects it will receive certification of an RVSM-compliance package for early Cessna Citation 500s by the end of October, a delay of about four months. Honeywell attributes the postponement to deciding to expand the package to include Citations with both OEM and non-OEM mods, such as the Long Wing and Eagle modified Citations.
London Executive Aviation (LEA) introduced the first Cessna Citation Excel in the UK charter market last month. The airplane, which is privately owned but managed and operated on charter flights by LEA, was ferried from the U.S. in early August. The twinjet was added to the company’s air operator’s certificate (AOC) late last month.
What’s in a name?
If it’s West Star Aviation, it includes the former Premier Air Center at St. Louis Regional Airport (ALN) in East Alton, Ill., and West Star Aviation in Grand Junction, Colo., along with its surplus avionics division in Hiawatha, Iowa. Those entities have been operating as Premier/West Star since December 2004 when Premier Air Center acquired West Star Aviation.
The University of North Dakota (UND) has ordered a Cessna Citation Mustang for flight training and executive transport. UND is the first flight school to order Cessna’s light jet. Cessna (Booth No. 8550) said it plans to deliver 44 Mustangs this year.
The Cessna Citation CJ4 and XLS+ are “moving efficiently” through the development process toward certification, Cessna said today at the NBAA Convention. Detail design for the CJ4 is nearing completion and the first full wing was recently completed for the fuel test article. Cessna said the $8 million CJ4 is on schedule for first flight during the first half of next year, with entry into service planned for the first half of 2010.
The first Citation Mustang to be delivered to a European customer arrived in Europe earlier this month when British-based entrepreneur and pilot Jane Howell landed at the London-area Farnborough Airport on September 5, having flown the new light jet across the Atlantic from Wichita.