Textron Aviation issued layoff notices yesterday for 750 full-time and contract employees at Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft as it integrates these businesses following Textron’s acquisition of Beechcraft last month. “As a part of bringing together these businesses, we have identified redundancies in our global workforce that have ultimately led to some very difficult decisions that affect the sizing of our business,” the company said in a statement.
Bell Helicopter signed a purchase agreement with Xinjiang Tianyun General Aviation for a new Bell 407GX. The Chinese company will use the helicopter for sightseeing tours, executive transport and agriculture support. “We are delighted to select the Bell 407GX to be our first helicopter,” said Xinjiang Tianyun GA executive director Zhu Yue. “It is durable and versatile, exactly what our company was looking for to fit the missions we are planning.”
Spending a week in China at the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition is a refreshing reminder that as much as countries like China want to put general aviation to work, the actual implementation is going to be nothing like what aviation-minded westerners are used to. It seems we have a naive desire to see general aviation in China replicate the landscape of non-commercial aviation in the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Carey Matthews (left), general manager Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Centre (SHPBASC, Booth H128) receives a plaque from Brad Thress, senior v-p Customer Service, Textron Aviation (Chalet 13), identifying SHPBASC as an authorized Cessna Service Center.
“We’re privileged to service Cessnas around China,” Matthews said.
Textron Aviation, which includes Cessna, Beechcraft, and support services for Hawker jets, no longer in production, has some 325 of its products in China, encompassing about 200 piston, 70 turboprop and 50 jet aircraft.
Cessna Aircraft’s Citation Latitude prototype has logged more than 65 hours over some 30 flights since making its maiden jaunt on February 18, Textron Aviation senior vice president of business jets Chris Hearne told AIN today at ABACE 2014.
Beidahuang General Aviation of Harbin, China, signed for a Beechcraft King Air C90GTx today at ABACE 2014, an order that was brokered through Textron Beechcraft’s channel partner in China, Avion Pacific. The C90GTx will join a fleet of nearly 90 business aircraft operated by Beidahuang General Aviation, which is a subsidiary of Chinese state-owned agribusinesses conglomerate Beidahuang Group. Beidahuang General Aviation plans to use the turboprop twin for personnel transport and aerial survey. The company’s fleet of helicopters and airplanes logs more than 10,000 hours per year.
The Textron AirLand joint venture said its Scorpion light strike and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) jet has completed 50 hours of flight-tests since it first flew on December 12 last year. The prototype has flown to 30,000 feet and at 120 to 310 knots calibrated airspeed, with a maximum airspeed tested of 430 KTAS.
Cessna Aircraft announced a 10-aircraft order for float-equipped Grand Caravan EXs today at ABACE 2014 from Beijing-based Reignwood Group for tourism services in China. The company agreed to acquire the amphibian turboprop singles through the Cessna-Avic Shijiazhuang facility, which has been assembling Cessna Caravans for the Chinese market since late last year.
Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Centre received Civil Aviation Administration of China and FAA approval for maintenance of Hawker 800-series business jets, the company announced today at ABACE 2014. It also has been designated an authorized service facility for Cessna Citations by the newly formed Textron Aviation, which also owns Hawker and Beechcraft.
Cessna Aircraft received Civil Aviation Administration of China certification today for the Citation XLS+, clearing the way for deliveries in China. This certification is another step toward beginning operations at Cessna-Avic Aircraft Zhuhai for final assembly and delivery of Citation XLS+s to customers in China. Approval of the business license for the Cessna-Avic joint venture is expected from the Ministry of Commerce of China this summer, Cessna said.