The 65th Annual NBAA Meeting and Convention in Orlando, Fla., is taking place as the U.S. presidential election looms and with the state of the global economy very much on the minds of people worldwide. AIN recently took the opportunity to ask the leaders of several business aircraft manufacturers for their thoughts on the state of the economy and their forecasts for the business aviation industry.
Cessna Aircraft has signed agreements renewing Jet Aviation’s Dusseldorf, Germany, and Zurich, Switzerland, operations as Citation authorized service facilities. The extension of its relationship with Jet Aviation is the latest development in Cessna’s drive to expand its customer support network in Europe. The company recently launched new Cessna-operated Citation service centers in Doncaster, UK, and Valencia, Spain, to complement existing Citation-operated service centers in Paris, and Prague, Czech Republic.
Third-quarter earnings at Cessna Aircraft and Bell Helicopter parent company Textron rose 6.6 percent year-over-year, to $3 billion, though its manufacturing segment profits slid by $6 million to $254 million. Half of that decrease was attributable to Cessna, which showed a pre-tax profit of $30 million in the quarter versus $33 million last year. But pre-tax quarterly profits at Bell soared by $22 million, to $165 million.
Bell Helicopter broke ground this week on its new Fort Worth, Texas headquarters, a 210,000-sq-ft facility that will house administration, support functions, program offices, customer center and an integrated training center when it opens in 2014. The Bell Helicopter training facility, currently located at Fort Worth Alliance Airport, will also be moved to the new global headquarters.
In an effort to make sealed lead acid (SLA) battery technology more affordable for Cessna Citation operators, Duncan Aviation has developed and is offering parts manufacturer approved (PMA) battery replacement tie-down bolts at a significant discount with the purchase of a new Securaplane SLA battery.
These tie-down bolts are an STC requirement for installation of a Securaplane SLA battery in Citation 560s. Until now, Citation 560 operators wanting to install Securaplane batteries had to purchase expensive tie-down bolts directly from the OEM.
NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen, JSSI chairman Lou Seno and former Cessna chief Jack Pelton separately weighed in on President Obama’s remarks about “corporate jets” during the televised presidential debate last week. “Why wouldn’t we eliminate tax breaks for corporate jets?” Obama asked. “My attitude is if you got a corporate jet, you can probably afford to pay full freight, not get a special break for it.”
The first Cessna-owned Citation Service Center in the UK has been opened on Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield. The 50,000-sq-ft facility, branded as the Doncaster Citation Service Center, offers services from maintenance to modernization and paint.
The FAA proposes an airworthiness directive for the Cessna 500, 501, 550, 551, S550, 560, 560XL and 650 prompted by multiple reports of smoke and/or fire in the tailcone caused by sparking due to excessive wear of the brushes in the air-conditioning (A/C) motor.
Cessna is hoping that recent sales breakthroughs in Russia with its Grand Caravan turboprop and Skylane 172 piston singles will prove to be a sound foundation for selling more of its Citation business jets there.
Cadorath Group and Meridian Aviation Consulting have joined forces to establish Meridian Helicopters. The company will focus on providing reworked parts distribution support as well as consulting, brokering and technical support for the global Bell Helicopter network.