For its first major new product since being purchased last year by a team headed by Elling Halvorson, Soloy is developing a more powerful follow-on to its 420-shp Allison turboprop conversion for Cessna 206s.
Describing last year as a “turnaround” for the industry, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) last month credited both the bonus depreciation allowance and the growing U.S. economy for changing what had been forecast
to be a year of stabilization into one of industry growth.
Cessna anticipates that its Model 680 Citation Sovereign super-midsize business jet will receive full type certification before the end of next month. On Christmas Eve the new aircraft received provisional certification, with flight into known icing the only major outstanding approval still pending. Cessna reports orders for about 100 aircraft.
Cessna and its parent, Textron, rallied quickly to support president and CEO Jack Pelton’s credentials in the wake of a damaging 60 Minutes segment that aired last month. The CBS show mentioned that Pelton was among thousands who essentially purchased college degrees from an alleged diploma mill, specifically Hamilton University in Evanston, Wyo.
The general aviation industry continued a strong recovery through third-quarter deliveries and billings, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. New aircraft billings were up 19.7 percent, to $8.1 billion, in the first nine months of this year, while total deliveries of new GA airplanes increased 7.7 percent, to 1,928.
Last month Cessna said it had begun production line flow of its new Citation CJ2+ and would soon start production of the Citation CJ1+. On February 11, the first Citation CJ2+ (S/N 525A-000300) began its journey down the production line. This twinjet will be used to certify the avionics for the CJ2+.
Even as officials of the North Carolina Department of Transportation celebrated the centennial of manned flight at ceremonies on the Outer Banks on December 17, a state audit issued three weeks earlier was recommending some extensive cost-cutting measures with regard to the state’s aircraft operations.
Táxi Aéreo Marília (TAM) plans to transfer nearly all of its maintenance activity from São Paulo Congonhas Airport, Brazil, to the nearby Jundiaí Airport, where the company has already begun building a new hangar. The new facility is scheduled to open in midyear.
Cessna and Gulfstream are positioning themselves to improve sales in India. Cessna said it delivered two Citations and one Caravan to Indian companies last year. Before those deliveries, five Citations were based in India. This year, Cessna plans to deliver two more Citations in India. Meanwhile, Gulfstream named Air Works India at Mumbai International Airport, Bombay, its sales agent for the region.
Cessna named West Star Aviation of Grand Junction, Colo., an authorized Citation service center and warranty fulfillment facility, one of six non-factory-owned authorized Citation service facilities in the U.S. West Star Aviation consists of more than 20 acres of ramp space and 140,000 sq ft of office and hangar space.