Cessna Aircraft is looking to beat back encroaching entry-level light jet competition with its new M2. But can a nearly 25-year-old fuselage design do the trick? The market is about to find out. The new Citation M2, a refreshed version of the company’s smallest Model 525–the CitationJet–is nearing certification. A demonstration model is on display here on the NBAA static line.
Very light jets
Eclipse Aerospace (Booth No. C10844) ceremonially delivered the first Eclipse 550 yesterday at NBAA 2013, marking the first aircraft to come off its revived production line since its predecessor company filed for bankruptcy and shut down in 2007. The new twinjet builds upon the “proven and reliable” Eclipse 500, adding more range, upgraded avionics and improved cabin comfort.
Marking its full return to aircraft production, Eclipse Aerospace delivered the first Eclipse 550 today at the 2013 NBAA Convention in Las Vegas.
Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimassa Fujino said yesterday at NBAA 2013 that the HondaJet would be certified by the end of 2014, as long as the HF120 engine was certified by the end of this year. Terry Sharp, president of GE Honda Aero Engines, said this timeline is doable–“We have completed all the certification testing on the engine and last week we submitted the final two reports to the FAA. Our confidence is high that we will have the type certificate by the end of this year.”
Eclipse Aerospace ceremonially delivered the first Eclipse 550 today at NBAA 2013, marking the first aircraft to come off its revived production line since its predecessor company filed for bankruptcy and shut down in 2007. The very light jet–S/N 265–will officially be delivered to its customer, Fred Phillips, in the coming weeks after three “minor” STCs are approved by the FAA.
Engine development drives aircraft development, so it should not be surprising that Honda is forecasting the certification date of its HondaJet based on the date of the certification of its engine, the GE Honda Aero Engines HF120. It’s more complicated than that, of course, but that’s the Cliff Notes version.
NBAA has released the 2013 edition of its Light Business Airplane (LBA) Buyer’s Guide. First published in 2009 and available only to NBAA members, the guide provides an overview of the light business airplanes still in production.
UAV start-up Titan Aerospace of Moriarty, N.M., yesterday named former Eclipse Aviation CEO Vern Raburn as its chairman and CEO. Originally a Microsoft executive, Raburn founded Eclipse, manufacturer of the Eclipse 500 very light jet, in 1998. He stepped down from the company in 2008 before it entered bankruptcy, and it later re-emerged from bankruptcy as Eclipse Aerospace.
Embraer’s third-quarter numbers were released today, and while deliveries of 25 executive jets are down by four airplanes from the previous quarter, it was a decided improvement over the 13 deliveries recorded in the third quarter last year. In the first nine months, Embraer shipped 66 business jets, 20 more than it did in the same period last year.
VLJ activity has rebounded strongly in Europe, at the expense of traditional light jets such as Citations and Learjets, according to speakers at the annual Business Aircraft Europe event, held at London Biggin Hill Airport on September 11 and 12. The event grew out of Light Jets Europe, which started in 2007 but was renamed after the VLJ (very light jet) sector nosedived with much of the rest of the industry when the global financial crisis hit five years ago.