Eurocontrol plans to launch a so-called Very Light Jet Integration Platform (VIP) to discuss issues relating to the introduction of the new generation of business/personal aircraft. But is the European air traffic management agency overestimating the potential impact VLJs will have on the crowded European airspace or are the concerns warranted?
Cessna has received European Aviation Safety Agency airworthiness approval for the Citation Mustang, the first very light jet to be certified on this side of the Atlantic. Deliveries to European buyers are expected to begin “later this summer,” according to Cessna chairman, president and chief executive Jack Pelton.
“Not everyone can or wants to own a private jet, and even the most affordable co-ownership or ad hoc chartering package is not always suitable,” Flying Group president and general manager Bernard Van Milders told EBACE Convention News.
The first Cessna Citation Encore+ was delivered last week, nearly five months after receiving FAA type certification. The company expects to deliver another 24 by year-end, although it won’t divulge the number of airplanes ordered thus far. The $8.1 million business jet seats between seven and 11 passengers and is equipped with FADEC Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) PW535B engines, the newest member of P&WC’s PW500 line.
Elliott Aviation of Moline, Ill., has authorization to do full line service and maintenance on the Williams-Rolls FJ44-1A/2C and -2A turbofans used on the Cessna CitationJet and Beechcraft Premier I, respectively.
“The Williams-Rolls authorization is one more step in our continued efforts to provide additional value to our customers,” said company president Wynn Elliott.
As deliveries of very light jets (VLJs) begin, concerns that they might be difficult to insure have almost evaporated. Manufacturers have had the chance to brief underwriters in depth about their models’ designs, performance characteristics and systems.
Cessna said last month it will increase production of its Citation X by more than 65 percent from 2006 to 2010, to meet “growing demand,” primarily from non-U.S. buyers. Such demand would reverse a five-year downward trend in which 12 Citation Xs were delivered last year compared with 14 in 2005, 15 in 2004, 18 in 2003, 31 in 2002 and 34 in 2001. “The business jet market outside the U.S.
Cessna announced on March 23 that it received FAA approval of its $9.895 million Citation XLS, a faster, roomier and longer-legged derivative of the Citation Excel. Like the Excel, the XLS remains a model 560XL. Cessna went through the standard certification process with the XLS, but the FAA decided to change only the data sheets to reflect the new specs, such as the weight and engine changes, according to a spokesperson.
PrestoSim, a Grapevine, Texas, privately held Part 142 school, recently received FAA approval to provide simulator-based upgrade, initial, transition and type-rating training for the Cessna Citation Ultra and Encore equipped with the Honeywell Primus 1000 avionics suite. The company in November received FAA approval for its Primus-
equipped Citation Bravo simulator courses.
Given their current predicaments, Eclipse Aviation and Sino Swearingen share some similarities. Both start-up OEMs have found the money and overcome the adversity to earn type certificates for their jets despite major setbacks and industry naysayers.