Among business jet manufacturers, Cessna, Gulfstream and Raytheon are the top performers in AIN’s 2005 Product Support Survey. AIN readers gave Gulfstream the highest marks for both its newer and older jets when ratings for the Westwind series are excluded. When these models are included in Gulfstream’s combined average, Cessna moves into the top spot for new and old business jets combined.
One year after CitationShares introduced its Vector jet card, the fractional provider has curtailed sales to “not exceed the capacity to fulfill” charter and owner flights. “We have reached the capacity we targeted way earlier than expected,” according to CitationShares president and CEO Steve O’Neill. “We expected a renewal rate of about 35 percent, but about 75 percent of cardholders are renewing.
One month ahead of schedule, the first Citation Mustang production aircraft (S/N 0001) took to the air on Monday. The very light jet (VLJ) flew exactly two hours, performing basic systems and avionics checks, including engaging the autopilot, testing handling characteristics, operating the gear and flaps, activating the de-ice system and evaluating engine response and performance.
In the final report on the February 2005 Cessna Citation 560 crash in Pueblo, Colo., the NTSB said it interviewed instructors about pilot training on Citation 560 de-icing procedures. The Citation 560 AFM recommends that pilots wait to activate de-ice boots until one-quarter to half an inch of ice accumulates to prevent so-called ice bridging.
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.
Global events are apparently conspiring to create some increase in the cost of business aircraft interiors. Ed Harris, director of sales and marketing for Fiber Art of San Antonio, said his company has recently sent letters to its customers advising them that prices this year are going up by about 15 percent.
As part of an alliance with interiors specialist Yingling Aviation of Wichita, Cessna began offering the Oasis executive cabin interior for its Cessna 208 Caravan in October. The program has already produced 10 Oasis-cabin Caravans, and in May the company delivered the first of two aircraft to be registered in the UK.
On June 2 officials from the FAA’s central region presented the type certificate for the Citation Sovereign to Cessna Aircraft, about eight months after the airplane debuted at last year’s NBAA Convention. David Brant, Cessna’s senior v-p of engineering, said on the occasion, “The Citation Sovereign incorporates many new technological advancements.
Cessna’s new and expanded Citation service center in Orlando, Fla., opened for business on June 21. The 155,000-sq-ft facility, which replaces the original 47,275-sq-ft center built there in 1983, will be further enlarged to nearly 200,000 sq ft by October. Cessna is also building a massive Citation service center at its headquarters in Wichita.
“I’m very pleased this year,” Agustin Melgar, director of Aero ’04, told AIN. “Last year we had 37 vendors and this year we have 63. We’ve filled up our space completely, but most important is which vendors came. We’ve got the big companies like Gulfstream, Embraer, Cessna, Sikorsky and CAE SimuFlite.”