Textron Aviation is showcasing its complete line of business jets and turboprops here at NBAA 2014, with all 12 models on display at Orlando Executive Airport, led by the debut appearance of the Cessna Latitude, its midsize jet currently undergoing certification.
Textron Aviation is showcasing its complete line of business jets and turboprops this week at NBAA 2014, with all 12 models on display at Orlando (Fla.) Executive Airport, led by the debut appearance of its midsize Cessna Latitude, which is expected to be certified in the first half of next year.
The business jet market has been on the mend for quite some time, but only recently has the improvement shown clear signs of acceleration. According to recent statistics, it was about one year ago that the inventory of used business jets began to shrink at a faster rate than during previous years. Since last year’s NBAA Convention, the industry has experienced a 10-percent drop in used aircraft inventory, or nearly 300 fewer aircraft.
The March 2014 merger that created Textron Aviation brought together three deeply rooted brands, Beechcraft, Cessna and Hawker, and, at least for now, the group is committed to maintaining the separate identities of these product families. That's not to say the company will not contemplate changes in its line up, with Textron Aviation senior vice president of sales and marketing, Kriya Shortt, acknowledging that it is “evaluating our product line to ensure we’re bringing the best possible products to customers around the world .”
I wasn’t really sure what to expect as I sat waiting in the FBO. Randy Green and I had sealed a deal on my 1954 V-tail Bonanza via email and phone calls last summer, and I was delivering it to him at an airport halfway between our homes.
The combination of two 80-year-old Wichita aircraft manufacturers–Cessna and Beechcraft–under the new Textron Aviation umbrella marks its NBAA Convention debut here in Orlando. With 21 airplanes in production between the two factories, which are about 10 miles apart in Wichita, and a full-service network that is rapidly becoming capable of handling all of the Beechcraft and Cessna turbine models, Textron Aviation (Booth 220) and its president and CEO Scott Ernest continue to invest in new products as the integration of the two companies solidifies.
TAM Aviação Executivo recently received approval from Brazil’s Ceará state government to operate at Aracatí Airport, where it aims to open by year-end a 150,000-sq-ft business aviation maintenance facility that can simultaneously service up to 30 aircraft. Once Brazil’s civil aviation agency, ANAC, approves the new facility in the country’s northeast region, TAM AE plans to start servicing the Cessna Citation and Caravan and then quickly expand to the whole Textron Aviation portfolio.
Hal Tom, Jr. was indicted on September 23 by the U.S. District Court in Oxford, Miss., for knowingly and willfully operating a Cessna 182 on a flight from Texas to New Jersey without a valid airman’s certificate. During the flight, Tom ran the aircraft out of fuel and crashed near Clarksdale, Miss., damaging the aircraft’s right wing. After improperly refueling the aircraft, Tom continued the flight to New Jersey despite the damage to the aircraft’s right wing.
Cessna announced improvements in expected range and runway performance for the Citation Latitude, basing its projections on data from the flight-test program for the new twinjet. The OEM expects FAA certification of the Latitude in the second quarter of next year.
The midsize jet’s range is being extended by 200 nm, to 2,700 nm, at long-range cruise. In addition, the Latitude’s takeoff distance has been shortened to 3,668 feet, down from a previously projected 4,030 feet.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the entry into service for one of business aviation’s most enigmatic aircraft, the star-crossed Beech Starship, which was intended as a replacement for the King Air. As the first aircraft with an all-composite fuselage, the twin-turboprop pusher with radical canard forward design underwent a lengthy development and certification process before finally entering service.
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