Though the light and midsize jet markets yet await their resurgence from the depths of the past business cycle downturn, at Learjet there is a near palpable sense of anticipation that such a turnaround is looming. The Bombardier division currently has three new models preparing for entry into service next year—the Learjets 70, 75 and 85–and has embarked on a major expansion at its Wichita headquarters.
Nextant Aerospace founder and CEO Kenn Ricci said yesterday here at NBAA 2012 that his company will announce its next business jet remanufacturing program–dubbed “Project XXT”–in early January. It will be a midsize jet, he told AIN, with service entry scheduled for 2015. Ricci expects a mockup of the aircraft to be at the NBAA show next year, with first flight expected about 15 to 18 months from now.
Nextant Aerospace founder and CEO Kenn Ricci said today at NBAA 2012 that his company will announce its next business jet remanufacturing program–dubbed “Project XXT”–in early January. It will be a midsize jet that includes a fuselage modification, he told AIN, with service entry scheduled for 2015. Ricci expects a mockup of the aircraft to be at the NBAA show next year, with first flight expected about 15 to 18 months from now.
NetJets unveiled its new Bombardier Global 6000 at the NBAA show static display on Sunday. The fractional ownership giant has spent 18 months developing the Signature Series cabin interior for the large cabin aircraft and will also roll out the new design to other new members of its fleet, including the Challenger 605 and 300 models.
Crane Aerospace & Electronics has received a number of new product approvals and selections on a variety of business jets. Crane’s FAA-approved SmartStem wireless tire pressure monitoring system now allows Part 135 pilots to check tire pressures on all certified aircraft. “There are presently no other products on the market that allow a Part 135 pilot to check his own tires,” the company noted.
In looking for something to validate my feeling about what a lackluster year it has been in the preowned segment, I compared the year-ago inventory level with this year’s numbers at this time, and even though my gut feeling told me so, the results were still a bit surprising.
Last year’s inventory was 2,572, and this year’s number was exactly the same. In between there have been slight upticks and one small downtick that unexpectedly came this past summer, when inventory more often builds than diminishes.
A Bombardier Learjet 45XR was officially the first jet to land during the dedication of the Rooks County Regional Airport in Stockton, Kan., on Saturday. Kansas governor Sam Brownback was on hand to inaugurate the new business and general aviation airport. “We are honored to have been able to participate in the dedication of the Rooks County Regional Airport,” said Learjet vice president and general manager Ralph Acs. The airport has a single 5,000-foot runway (18/36) and offers 24-hour fueling services.
Bombardier’s Global 6000 aircraft, featuring its Global Vision flight deck, attracted a lot of attention at this week’s Jet Expo show in Moscow. The Canadian airframer hopes the appearance of the new long-range model will boost its position in a Russian market, where it already claims the number one slot with a 35 percent share of deliveries in terms of business aircraft registered in Russia or operated by local operators.
Jet Aviation was early to see the Russian business aviation boom coming and so was one of the first Western companies to take the leap of faith needed to launch operations there. Its maintenance facility at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport is approaching its fifth anniversary and now is preparing to add a fifth business jet family to its portfolio.
As progress continues on the construction of the first flight-test Bombardier Learjet 85, the airframer said this week that it sees a niche for a smaller follow-on model of the all-composite midsize jet. “I think there is an opportunity between the 75 and the 85,” Learjet vice president and general manager Ralph Acs told journalists this week during a media event. “Our entire notion all along has been that you can come up with a platform and then you spin that to other things.”