Bell Helicopter announced the signing of two new purchase agreements on the opening day of the JetExpo 2014 show. Two undisclosed Russian private customers each have signed for a Bell 407GX single-engined aircraft. The new contracts were announced on the same day as Bell delivered three other helicopters to Russian clients.
Bell Helicopter has started building the facility in Lafayette, La., where it will assemble the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X light single. The $26.3 million, 82,300-sq-ft hangar, to be completed by June, is being built on a 14.5-acre site leased from Lafayette Regional Airport.
Cessna Aircraft delivered the 10,000th single-engine aircraft from its Independence, Kan. facility, which opened in June 1996. Liberty University took delivery of this milestone aircraft, a Cessna 172 Skyhawk with a custom paint scheme denoting it as the 10,000th piston single from Independence. “Reaching this milestone is a testament to the quality of the workforce at our Independence facility,” said Independence general manager Lily English.
More than 100 people attended Bell Helicopter’s Latin America regional safety symposium for rotorcraft pilots and technicians, held August 11 at the São Paulo World Trade Center in Brazil. The event, which coincided with the annual Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition, highlighted Bell’s support of the International Helicopter Safety Team’s mission to establish partnerships in countries with significant helicopter operations and encourage development of safety interventions.
Textron Aviation confirmed to AIN that it will terminate flight operations at its former fractional and charter/management operation, CitationAir, on October 31. The move comes 2.5 years after CitationAir stopped selling fractional shares in new aircraft and ceased renewals for current fractional-share customers in February 2012, saying at that time it would instead focus on its jet card and aircraft management products. The company is now abandoning even that modest plan.
Textron Aviation is now offering the ProAdvantage product support program for Beechcraft King Airs, the company announced yesterday at LABACE 2014. ProAdvantage, previously available only for Cessna Citation customers, offers programs that provide life-cycle maintenance and parts support for airframes and avionics, engines and auxiliary power units. ProAdvantage includes ProParts, ProTech and ProPropeller. ProParts, the “cornerstone” of this package, provides coverage for maintenance and parts such as wheels and tires, avionics, brakes, motors, actuators, gauges and light bulbs.
Cessna Aircraft announced today at LABACE that its Citation M2 received certification from civil aviation authorities in Brazil and Argentina, paving the way for deliveries to begin in these two Latin American countries. “The market in Latin America has shown tremendous interest in the Citation M2 due to its competitive acquisition and operating costs, its airport performance and its onboard systems,” said Cessna vice president of international sales Robert Gibbs.
Textron Aviation announced that its Cessna Citation M2, which is making its LABACE show debut here this week, has gained certification in Brazil and Argentina, “paving the way for deliveries to begin.” The new M2 jet received its U.S. FAA type certificate in December 2013 and the equivalent approval from Europe’s EASA in June. So far this year, Textron has delivered 31 of the type.
In 1978, Cessna Aircraft opened a Citation service center in Palm Beach, Fla., and five years later relocated it to a facility on the south side of Orlando International Airport to meet demand for its services. Demand continued to grow, to the point that it exceeded the capacity of the 45,000-sq-ft facility and the MRO relocated for a second time.
An acquisitive Textron has assembled a new flight simulator manufacturing and training company–TRU Simulation + Training–that its leaders believe will offer strong competition to entrenched players FlightSafety International and CAE. TRU’s president and CEO is James Takats, one of the founders of Florida-based simulator manufacturer Opinicus, which became a Textron property in November last year.
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