Manufacturers delivered 518 new business jets last year, some 23 percent fewer than the 676 shipped in 2002, according to the annual year-end report released last month by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Last year’s figure is the lowest level since 1998, when 520 business jets were delivered.
The NBAA Safety Committee met last month at the association’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., to discuss the creation of training standards and operations guidelines for the emerging very light jet segment. In attendance were insurance underwriters, training vendors and two manufacturers (Cessna and Eclipse) that are developing very light jets. These initiatives are expected to be completed later this year, said the association.
The six-seat Citation Mustang, Cessna’s newest addition to its stable of business jets, is starting to take shape. At press time, the Wichita manufacturer was busy building the Mustang prototype’s tooling, and more than 3,700 of the very light jet’s 5,000 detail parts had been fabricated. The $2.395 million Mustang is the company’s first clean-sheet aircraft design since it launched the Citation III in 1978.
Because the Grob SPn Utility jet and the Embraer Phenom 300 weigh more than 12,500 pounds but less than 19,000 pounds, their respective manufacturers are requesting permission to certify the aircraft under the commuter category of Part 23 rather than the more stringent requirements of Part 25.
Cessna announced today that it is partnering with Winglet Technology of Wichita to offer the company’s patented elliptical winglets as a retrofit later this year for in-service Citation Xs. Though flight testing won’t begin until later this summer, Winglet Technology president Bob Kiser told AIN the design has been shown to “significantly improve performance” on hot days at higher elevations.
Cessna Aircraft opened its new $61 million Citation Service Center multi-use facility in Wichita in December and the interior refurbishment shop is hard at work. Since the start of the year, Cessna has done 10 cabin refurbishment jobs. A spokeswoman at Cessna said the ability to do interior refurbishment while an aircraft is in the same facility for maintenance substantially reduces downtime.
Cessna Aircraft has entered into an agreement with Innovative Solutions & Support for the avionics maker to provide flat-panel display systems for legacy Cessna Citations. The new system replaces existing round dials and displays and will be distributed and installed through 34 Cessna Service Centers worldwide.
Some MROs are growing increasingly concerned about working on aircraft that are more than 18 years old because they fall beyond the statute of repose limits established in the General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994. The concern is that litigation after an accident involving an older aircraft could shift to the maintenance shop. Yingling Aviation of Wichita does not let that concern limit its services.
Raytheon Beech 99A, Milwaukee, Jan. 25, 2007–A Freight Runners Beech 99 collided with a company Cessna 402B at a runway-taxiway intersection after landing on Runway 25L at General Mitchell International Airport. The Beech 99 pilot, who was slightly injured, landed just past the intersecting Runway 19, slowed, and told Tower he could exit at A2 taxiway, which led to A, and he was cleared.
Shipments of general aviation aircraft last year increased significantly over 2005, resulting in record highs in billings and in business jet deliveries.