Cessna recently delivered three Citation Bravos to The Company Jet, a fractional aircraft ownership startup based in Grand Rapids, Mich. Company Jet president Charles Cox said his operation is designed expressly for the business traveler. “Co-owners are organized within specific geographical areas to maximize airplane availability and minmize flying time.” The Company Jet is scheduled to take delivery of two more Bravos later this year.
Shipments of new business jets in the first quarter plummeted nearly 43 percent compared with last year’s first quarter, according to figures compiled by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.
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.
Construction started last month on Cessna’s new Citation Service Center at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. The 447,259-sq-ft facility, being built on 124 acres, is scheduled to be finished in the fourth quarter of next year. In anticipation of increased traffic, a new taxiway was completed in March. The support facility will operate 24/7 and Cessna expects to service 75 to 80 Citations a day.
In the aftermath of July’s well publicized engine-out ditching of a Pilatus PC-12 in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Russia, industry observers are asking how this and other recent accidents have affected the statistical reliability of single-engine turboprops and if sales of these aircraft are suffering.
Soloy Corp. has begun certification of its Turbine Pac powerplant conversion for the new Cessna 206H. The conversion installs an original Rolls-Royce 250-C20S turboprop in place of the airplane’s Lycoming IO/TIO-542 piston engine. The Olympia, Wash., firm has delivered more than 75 turbine-powered 1977 to 1986 Cessna 206s and 207s under a current certification.
Microjets, or whatever you wish to call the emerging new breed of very light jets (VLJ), are the subject of much buzz these days. At least eight manufacturers, ranging from GA giant Cessna to automobile manufacturer Honda, have serious designs.
Cessna last month released class-A terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) service bulletins covering installation of Honeywell’s EGPWS in a variety of Citation models spanning the 525 Citation CJ; 550 Bravo; 560 Ultra; and 550 Citation II. Cessna also announced that service bulletins for Sandel’s class-B TAWS will be available later this month for all Citation Model 500s in service.
Charles Johnson, 60, who was named president of Cessna in March, remains on an “indefinite leave” of absence since late August due to undisclosed ongoing medical problems, according to a spokesman for the Wichita aircraft maker. Without elaborating on his illness, the spokesman said that doctors have ruled out cancer and heart-related problems. Cessna senior v-p of engineering Jack Pelton has assumed Johnson’s duties until he returns.