Textron closed its $1.4 billion acquisition of Beechcraft on March 14, bringing together Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft to form Textron Aviation. Scott Ernest, Cessna’s president and CEO since 2011, was tapped to lead Textron Aviation as CEO. Meanwhile, Bill Boisture, chairman and CEO of Beechcraft since 2009, was omitted from the Textron Aviation senior leadership team and “is moving on to new opportunities,” a Textron spokesman told AIN.
Textron closed its $1.4 billion acquisition of Beechcraft on Friday, bringing together Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft to form Textron Aviation. While the two aircraft manufacturers are now combined within a single segment, “Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker will each remain distinct brands to preserve their rich histories and respective strengths in the marketplace,” the company said.
Bell Helicopter secured orders and purchase commitments for 196 new helicopters from customers during Heli-Expo, which was held last week in Anaheim, Calif. This number includes more than 170 letters of intent for Bell’s circa-$1 million light single helicopter, the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X, that was formally unveiled at the show.
A prototype of Cessna’s newest midsize jet, the Citation Latitude, flew for the first time on February 18, lifting off from Wichita Mid-Continent Airport at 10 a.m. with senior flight-test pilots Aaron Tobias and Marcus Mannella in the cockpit. During the nearly 2.5-hour flight, the crew tested the flaps, landing gear, pressurization systems, anti-ice capabilities, stability and control. The twinjet–which fuses a new, larger fuselage with the wings, tail and systems of the Citation Sovereign+–reached 28,000 feet and 200 knots on its maiden flight.
Cessna Aircraft’s Citation Latitude prototype has already achieved its full performance envelope, just one week after the aircraft’s maiden flight. In only its third flight, the prototype reached its maximum speed of 440 ktas/Mach 0.80 and altitude of 45,000 feet. In fact, the midsize twinjet made a direct climb to 45,000 feet with a gross takeoff weight of 29,000 pounds.
Bell Helicopter racked up orders and commitments for more than 110 helicopters at Heli-Expo as of this afternoon. The majority of these are for the company’s new Model 505 Jet Ranger X, which has garnered 94 letters of intent.
Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison said that the price of the company’s new short light single (SLS) helicopter would be pegged near $1 million. Bell is expected to reveal a mock-up of its re-entry into the light single market at its booth on Tuesday at 11 a.m.
Cessna Aircraft is set to deliver the first Citation CJ4 going to a Japanese customer. The Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer won a contract for three CJ4s from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) through its special-mission affiliate, Kanematsu of Japan. The twinjets will be equipped with flight inspection systems and as part of the JCAB’s mission will confirm the accuracy of air navigation capabilities, air routes and ATC facilities in Japan.
Cessna is set to deliver three Citation CJ4 business jets to the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport’s Civil Aviation Bureau through its special mission affiliate Kanematsu Corporation. The contract calls for Cessna to equip the airplanes with flight inspection systems to confirm the accuracy of air navigation capabilities, air routes and air traffic control facilities.
Bell Helicopter (Chalet CD11) is exhibiting two of its products at the Singapore 2014 airshow, the Bell 407GX single and the Bell 429 light twin. The show also marks the debut here of the cockpit demonstrator for the Bell AH-1Z Zulu attack helicopter. Meanwhile, the U.S. Marine Corps is displaying the Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey in both the static and flying displays.