Kestrel Aircraft president Alan Klapmeier best summed up the state of affairs for new turboprop builders last month: “Capital formation is broken in the United States. To do a program like this you need to find all of the different (capital) sources and put them together brick by brick. A large part is economic development assistance. It is just the state of business today.”
Dassault Falcon kicked off its traditional Falcon Family breakfast at NBAA 2011 with a message from chairman Charles Edestenne that the industry must unite to combat threats to its development. He stressed that business aviation is not a luxury, rather, it buys time, which he described as an essential competitive advantage in today’s world.
The Quest Kodiak turboprop single is going upscale. Quest Aircraft is displaying an aircraft at the NBAA static display with an executive interior installed by St. Paul, Minn.-based Wipaire, a Kodiak factory-authorized service center. Quest also is soliciting design input at the show for another factory-installed executive interior offering called Summit that it plans to unveil next year.
Kestrel Aircraft selected Honeywell’s TPE331-14GR to power its all-composite single-engine turboprop. The Brunswick, Maine-based company was founded by Alan Klapmeier, co-founder of Cirrus Aircraft, to bring the former Farnborough Aircraft F1 Kestrel turboprop to market. The F1 prototype, which Kestrel now owns, is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-67A flat-rated to 1,000 shp, and it first flew on July 29, 2006.
The electrically powered Solar Impulse (HB-SIA) is an amazing airplane and I was anxious to see it fly during the Paris Air Show. Unfortunately for me and probably many others who attended the biennial event, the weather did not cooperate until the last day of the show, June 26.
China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (Caiga) of Zhuhai, China, completed its acquisition of Duluth, Minn.-based Cirrus Aircraft today. Sellers include private-equity firm Arcapita, which owned 60 percent of Cirrus, and minority shareholders (including former Cirrus chairman and co-founder Alan Klapmeier).
French turbine-engine manufacturer Price Induction is about to embark on European certification of its DGEN 380 general aviation turbofan. An example of the engine, claimed to be the smallest such powerplant available, is being exhibited on the company’s stand (Hall 3 E30).
GE Aviation has launched its GEnx TruEngine program on the GEnx-1B engine and granted TruEngine designation to Air India’s GEnx-1B engine fleet. Air India has ordered GEnx-1B engines for its 27 Boeing 787-8 aircraft.
Turboprop engine specialist Blackhawk of Waco, Texas, is celebrating its 300th engine upgrade at this year’s EBACE. The customer in question is Germany’s Reinhardt Michel, who owns and flies a Piper PA-31T Cheyenne, purchased in 2004.
In the first quarter, general aviation airplane shipments fell 4.6 percent, from 390 aircraft last year to 372 this year, according to data released today by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). However, GA airplane billings dived by 19.6 percent year-over-year to $3.7 billion in the first three months, due primarily to a 22-percent drop in business jet shipments, from 164 aircraft to 128.