Total GA airplane billings in the first half of the year reached $10.4 billion, an increase of more than 25 percent over the same period last year, according to statistics released last month by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). The tally marks the first time since 2008 that the industry revenue has exceeded $10 billion in the first half of the year.
Certain helicopter makers such as Enstrom and various kit makers have long been a staple at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) annual AirVenture convention. For Enstrom, the journey represents a little more than an hour’s flight from its factory in Menominee, Mich. However, other mainline helicopter OEMs historically have been reluctant to exhibit at the nation’s largest airshow–until this year.
The first production copy of the Cessna Citation M2, an updated CJ1+ with Garmin G3000 avionics, logged its maiden flight from Cessna Aircraft’s Independence, Kan. facility on Friday. It reached altitudes up to 17,500 feet during the two-hour sortie. The M2, which was announced in September 2011, is expected to receive FAA certification in the fourth quarter.
Cessna Aircraft has completed the first fuselage for its midsize Citation Latitude, the Wichita-based company announced on Thursday. FAA certification and entry into service of the Latitude is scheduled for mid-2015.
The initial fuselage is now being used as a static-test article, while a second Latitude test article will soon be used for structural trials. According to Cessna, the third fuselage built will be for the flying Latitude prototype, which is expected to be powered on later this year and fly early next year.
Yesterday at LABACE Cessna unveiled the cabin mockup of the Citation Latitude for the first time in Brazil, giving show-goers the opportunity to see the type’s capacious cabin. Measuring 77 inches wide and 72 inches in height, the flat-floor cabin offers unprecedented headroom for an aircraft in the midsize class. Cessna offers two cabin configurations, coach and club, with seating for up to nine passengers. Six swivel seats form the basis of both configurations.
Cessna Aircraft is offering a program that covers all scheduled maintenance and parts costs for new Citation Sovereigns for the first five years or 1,500 flight hours. According to Cessna, the Sovereign Shield program “practically eliminates maintenance-related direct operating costs” for 2013 Citation Sovereigns, allowing owners to operate the aircraft for “far less” than other midsize business jets.
Cessna Aircraft’s single-engine line is likely to experience price hikes as the company seeks to improve profit margins on all of its aircraft, even as sales of some models slump. That was the word from Cessna vice president Jodi Noah here at EAA AirVenture Monday. “We will be pursuing price increases on a few of the different products primarily because we want to be able to offer the different products in our line-up.
Claiming “the weight and size of a 320 with the power of a 360,” Engine Components International (ECI, Booths 269 & 270) unveiled its new TITAN 340 Stroker Monday morning at AirVenture 2013. “It looks like a Lycoming, it sounds like a Lycoming,” the company added, “but it has a higher power-to-weight ratio.”
Cessna Aircraft announced the “Sovereign Shield” program yesterday for 2013 Citation Sovereigns, covering all scheduled maintenance and parts costs for these business jets for the first five years or 1,500 flight hours. The program “practically eliminates” maintenance-related direct operating costs for these Citation Sovereigns, Cessna said. According to Cessna, operators covered by the Sovereign Shield program can save more than $3,500 on a 2,000-nm trip compared with operators of competing midsize jets.
Development delays with software for the Garmin avionics suites for Cessna’s new Citation M2, Sovereign and X will push back first deliveries by a few months. During a conference call yesterday on second-quarter earnings at Cessna parent Textron, chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly said that deliveries of the M2 and the Sovereign will now start during the fourth quarter of this year, instead of the third quarter as had been planned. Deliveries of the new Citation X will now not begin until “early next year.”