Purdue University pilots flew an Embraer Phenom 100 partially powered by a mix of biofuel and jet-A to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh on Friday. The biofuel blend–a mixture of a camelina-based biofuel and jet-A provided by the U.S. Air Force–was used to power one of the Phenom’s engines; the other engine ran on jet-A alone. Key flight performance measurements were recorded and will be studied.
Very light jets
Embraer counts the annual EAA AirVenture Oshkosh show as a key element in its business aviation strategy, especially for the light Phenom 100 and 300 jets, many of which are owner-flown. The Brazilian manufacturer brought examples of each jet to this year’s show, as well as a Super Tucano light-attack turboprop single that participated in the afternoon flight demo with famed aviator Patty Wagstaff at the controls.
Cirrus Aircraft is not ruling out making some parts for its new $1.96 million (2010) SF50 single-engine jet in China as a strategy for combating costs.
Embraer released its second-quarter results yesterday, with 29 executive aircraft delivered, compared with 20 in last year’s second quarter. The value of firm orders received–executive and commercial aircraft combined–leaped by $3.8 billion to $17.1 billion in the second quarter. A breakdown of executive jet numbers in this year’s second quarter showed 23 light jet deliveries and six large jet deliveries (11 Phenom 100s, 12 Phenom 300s, five Legacy 650s and one Lineage 1000).
On May 21, surrounded by crowds of eager attendees at EBACE (European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition), Pilatus chairman Oscar Schwenk called for the unveiling of Pilatus Aircraft’s long-awaited new twinjet project, the PC-24. When the black curtain dropped amid clouds of dry-ice-induced smoke to the theme song from the Superman movie, the fuselage mockup of the PC-24 was revealed.
The Eclipse 500 received type certificate validation from the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) this week, and the first very light jet from the Albuquerque, N.M. aircraft manufacturer has been exported to South Africa by National Airways. This marks the 46th country in which the Eclipse is certified. Orlando, Fla.-based SimCom has also been approved as the Eclipse simulator training provider by the SACAA.
For the first time since the end of 2006, quarterly deliveries of business jets, turboprops and piston-powered aircraft finished in the positive, according to first-quarter 2013 statistics released last month by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). “We are pleased to see a shift to the positive for GA airplanes, which extends across all airplane segments,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce.
Eclipse Aerospace has arrived with an aircraft on static display for the first time at EBACE. The manufacturer is represented by its official European distributor, UK-based Aeris Aviation (based at Branscombe Airfield in Devon), which is offering demo flights in the Eclipse 500 very light jet during the show.
“The HondaJet program is steadily progressing toward certification and first delivery,” Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimasa Fujino said this week at EBACE. As previously reported, FAA type certification of the light jet has been delayed by a year to late next year, primarily due to delays in certifying its GE Honda Aero HF120 engines. EASA certification is scheduled to follow in mid-2015.
Embraer Executive Jets (Booth 7041) continues to expand at its headquarters in Melbourne, Florida. The business jet division of the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer has been assembling and delivering Phenoms since 2011 at the southeast U.S. complex and its customer center there has been open for about a year and a half. In addition, it is building a new engineering center, and there is ample room for further growth.