Eclipse Aerospace (EAI) marked the official start of customer deliveries for its Eclipse 550 very light jet Wednesday, as company CEO Mason Holland handed over S/N 265 to Louisiana businessman Fred Phillips at the company’s Albuquerque, N.M. headquarters.
Very light jets
Embraer delivered 119 executive jets worth $1.64 billion last year–up by 26 percent on 2012’s $1.29 billion–and nearly half of them (53) were handed over in the fourth quarter. The whole-year deliveries broke down as 90 light jets (60 Phenom 300s and 30 Phenom 100s) and 29 large jets (21 Legacy 600/650s and eight Lineage 1000/shuttles), and in the fourth quarter the tally was 38 light jets and 15 large jets.
A pair of STCs announced late last week by Eclipse Aerospace add anti-skid braking and autothrottle capabilities to new-build Eclipse 550s. The approvals also bring the company closer to first customer deliveries of the very light jets.
Eclipse Aerospace received a supplementary type certificate from the FAA on February 10 covering the autothrottle and anti-skid braking (ASB) systems on the new Eclipse 550. “The [550’s] is the only ASB in general aviation that does not require a complex aircraft hydraulic system and it can be retrofitted to most earlier Eclipse 500s,” the company said.
The world’s economy, for the most part, is slowly and steadily improving, but that has not yet provided the general aviation industry with a shot in the arm. During the past year only two clean-sheet jet designs were formally unveiled–the Pilatus PC-24 and Dassault Falcon 5X–but these were known to be under way for many years before this year’s public program launches.
Recent predictions by industry soothsayers show business aviation continuing its slow climb next year. “GDP is up, U.S. stock markets and corporate profits are setting new records and pre-owned inventory has declined, with aircraft prices now bouncing along the bottom,” aviation consultant Brian Foley told AIN. “These positive indicators are expected to continue in 2014.”
Honda Aircraft announced that the FAA issued Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) for the HondaJet, a key milestone in the light jet’s certification program. Now that the jet’s GE Honda Aero HF120 engine is certified and the TIA issued, Honda Aircraft has finalized the certification timetable for the HondaJet.
When the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released its third-quarter delivery totals on Halloween, it was preparing the industry for some trick or treating.
Three times is definitely the charm for Denise Wilson, president of Desert Jet (Booth No. C10439). For the third year in a row her company has earned the coveted Flying Safety Award from NBAA for exceptional achievement in maintaining safe flying operations. Just 45 charter companies have ever received this award, out of the 2,000 throughout the U.S. that are eligible each year. NBAA has been rewarding its members for flying safely since 1953.
JetSuite has exercised options for 10 more Cessna Citation CJ3s to provide additional capacity for its new partnership with private flight membership program Wheels Up. In a deal confirmed here at the NBAA show, JetSuite agreed to take the first of the 10 additional aircraft on November 22, with one more to join its fleet every 90 days.
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