With demand for business aircraft weak in traditional markets like the United States, many manufacturers are looking to China for growth.
The China Corporate Jet Alliance, founded last year at ABACE as the “China Business Jet Shanghai Alliance” to promote the sustainable growth of the business aviation market in China, inducted four new members today at ABACE 2013.
Gulfstream’s newest jets–the super-midsize G280 and wide-cabin G650–are making their China debut at ABACE, which officially opens tomorrow at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport. “We’re excited to bring the G650 and G280, as well as the G150, G450 and G550 to China for our customers to see in person,” said Gulfstream senior vice president of sales and marketing Scott Neal. “Bringing these five aircraft here demonstrates the commitment we’ve made to China and reflects our belief in the strength of this market.”
Gulfstream Aerospace has been making major investments of its own to boost customer support in China. In November 2012 the U.S. manufacturer opened the country’s first factory-owned business jet service center at Beijing Capital International Airport.
Duncan Aviation Lincoln has always had a Gulfstream presence, but the unveiling of the 45,000-sq-ft paint facility last May and construction of two 40,000-sq-ft maintenance hangars scheduled to be in service in Lincoln next year have paved the way for team members to offer both paint and maintenance to Gulfstream operators.
The wide-cabin Gulfstream G650 racked up yet another city-pair speed record, flying the 6,329-nm trip between Melbourne, Fla., and Abu Dhabi, UAE, in 13 hours and 5 minutes nonstop. It cruised at an average speed of Mach 0.87, carrying five crew and two passengers. Once verified by the U.S. National Aeronautic Association, the record will be the flagship aircraft’s sixth city-pair milestone this year.
Gulfstream Aerospace is working to step up the pace of deliveries of the new G650, taking account of time lost due to the need for retrofit work on early models. By the end of last year, the airframer had delivered six completed G650s to customers. The tally since then is unknown because Gulfstream has yet to release G650 delivery numbers for this year.
Twin Commander Aircraft is introducing two new custom kits for operators. CK 186 replaces Weldon fuel boost pumps with Parker Airborne pumps and CK 188 adds a convenient filler port to the supplemental oxygen system. When JetProp Commanders were still in production under Gulfstream Aerospace, the factory changed from Weldon to Airborne boost pumps, but the change was never offered for existing aircraft. If the Weldon pumps have already been replaced, installation of the hardware in CK 186 ensures that the upgrade meets OEM and FAA requirements and approval.
The wide-cabin Gulfstream G650 recently established four city-pair speed records in five days, the Savannah, Ga.-based aircraft manufacturer announced yesterday. “The G650, which entered service just over two months ago, is redefining what business jet operators can expect from their aircraft,” said company president Larry Flynn.
The G650’s most recent city-pair record came on January 28 on a flight from Moscow Vnukovo Airport to Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. It flew the 4,774-nm route in 9 hours 33 minutes, with an average speed of 574 mph.
FlightSafety International said that its third Gulfstream G650 full-motion flight simulator will be installed at the company’s learning center in Long Beach, Calif., early next year. The company’s first two G650 simulators are already in operation at its Savannah, Ga. facility, where G650 training started in September. “Expanding the Gulfstream G650 training program to Long Beach will enable us to meet growing demand,” said FSI senior vice president David Davenport.