The U.S. government has reinstated the “airbridge denial program,” or anti-drug interdiction efforts, with Colombia. This program, which allows the use of deadly force against civilian aircraft if they are known or suspected to be smuggling drugs, is the first of the airbridge programs to resume after the fatal shooting down of a missionary Cessna 185 floatplane in Peru in 2001. AOPA reiterated its opposition, saying.
Safe Flight Instrument Corp. has announced that Aeronautical Accessories, an affiliate of Bell Helicopter Textron, has obtained an STC allowing installation of Safe Flight’s Exceedence Warning System for the Bell 206B JetRanger. Safe Flight’s Exceedence Warning System continually monitors torque and exhaust gas temperature and provides pilots with a tactile annunciation when limits are being reached or exceeded.
While praising the efforts of his predecessor, Bell Helicopter’s freshly appointed CEO has been offering his own vision of the future for the beleaguered rotorcraft giant. What emerges is a daring strategy that essentially bets the company on the success of the embattled V-22 Osprey military tiltrotor and, later, the BA609 civil tiltrotor programs.
Textron, the parent company of both Bell Helicopter and Cessna Aircraft, reported overall revenues of $2.6 billion for the second quarter, down from $2.8 billion in the same period last year. The company noted that higher revenues at Bell, as well as at its Fastening Systems and Industrial and Finance segments, were offset by lower revenues at Cessna. Cessna revenues and profits decreased $282 million and $55 million respectively.
In a surprise move at last month’s Paris Air Show, the much anticipated Bell/Agusta Aerospace AB139 received its type certification from the Italian aeronautical authority, ENAC, which also approved IFR operations.
Scott Donnelly has left his position as president and CEO of GE Aviation to take on the role of executive vice president and COO of Textron, the parent company of Cessna and Bell Helicopter. Donnelly spent 19 years at GE, most recently heading
up the company’s jet engine and aircraft systems division. David Joyce, formerly vice president for commercial engines at GE, replaces Donnelly.
Burbank, Calif.-based aircraft sales, maintenance, charter and management firm TWC Aviation last month placed an order for two Cessna Citation Columbus business jets. At the end of March, Cessna said it had secured orders for 36 of the new large-cabin, intercontinental Citation, which was officially launched in early February.
Buoyed by its Bell and Cessna properties, Textron reported second-quarter profits up 23 percent from the same period last year, chairman, president and CEO Lewis Campbell announced last month. Pointing to a backlog of 1,638 business jets at Cessna, Textron reaffirmed its outlook for the remainder of this year and forecast a solid market for the Citation line through 2011.
Cessna last month said it is about a month away from delivering the 100th Citation Mustang, since deliveries began in December 2006. The company reports that more than half of the in-service very light jets are in the hands of international owners and operators. Last year, Cessna shipped 45 Mustangs and it expects to deliver 100 this year, 60 of them slated for international customers.
As the detail design phase for the large-cabin Columbus picks up speed, Cessna has expanded the program team to 500 people, up from 150. While the team completes the Columbus “architecture and layout planning so that the aircraft’s detail plans will merge into a master development schedule,” Cessna has revealed more of the suppliers that will build major parts of the airframe.