The Nigerian government’s announcement last week that it is buying two Falcon 7Xs and one Gulfstream G550 for its presidential fleet has yielded a rare look at actual business aircraft discounts. Aircraft manufacturers are loath to reveal what deals they give to individual customers, but as a public entity, the Nigerian government had to disclose the aircraft purchase prices in its Fiscal Year 2010 budget.
“We’re seeing a gradual improvement in the business jet market,” Jay Johnson, the chairman and CEO of Gulfstream and Jet Aviation parent General Dynamics, noted yesterday during the company’s second-quarter financial conference.
Business jet charter, sales and acquisition firm Zenith Jet has released a “bottom-up segment dynamics” forecast that predicts 10,940 bizjets worth some $208 billion will be delivered this decade.
Dornier Seaplane - Seastar
Dornier Seaplane has selected Montreal suburb Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu as the location to build a new facility for final assembly of the all-composite, twin-turboprop Seastar amphibian. The site is near Lake Champlain, ideal for production test flights and demonstrations of the Seastar’s amphibious capability.
Gulfstream’s fourth large-cabin G650–and the first production example–joined the flight-test program on June 6, just three days after the third test G650 first left the ground. As of Sunday, the four flying G650s had logged more than 85 flights and 240 hours, not quite 15 percent of the estimated 1,800 flight hours required for certification.
Gulfstream Aerospace and sister company Jet Aviation “will return to growth this year,” according to Jay Johnson, chairman and CEO of parent company General Dynamics. Speaking at the Sanford C.
Gulfstream – G650
General Dynamics yesterday reported first-quarter 2010 earnings from continuing operations of $599 million, up from $593 million for the same period in 2009, giving much of the credit to gains in the aerospace business segment, which consists of Gulfstream, Jet Aviation and General Dynamics Aviation Services. “It was a good first quarter,” said GD president and CEO Jay Johnson in an investor conference call.
Gulfstream Aerospace president Joe Lombardo started his career in aerospace at Douglas Aircraft in 1975, where he held leadership positions in production and material control, planning and manufacturing, and was general manager of twinjet production. He joined Gulfstream in 1996 as vice president of co-production, where he was responsible for the ramp-up and dual production of the Gulfstream IV-SP and V.
Gulfstream is on track to fulfill business aviation’s need for speed with its new G650 jet reaching its top operating speed of Mach 0.925 during a test flight on Sunday.
The large-cabin aircraft is on track to enter service as the world’s fastest in-production civil aircraft, overtaking the Cessna Citation X and perhaps heading off the challenge posed by planned supersonic business jets.