Canada-based Diamond Aircraft has again suspended its single-engine D-Jet program and has temporarily laid off the majority of its workforce while it restructures. “Regrettably, we need to suspend activity on the D-Jet program, pending the securing of additional funding,” said Diamond president and CEO Peter Maurer in a press release issued yesterday.
Very light jets
The U.S. Air Force is gathering information to help it decide if a very light jet (VLJ)–typically a jet with a maximum takeoff weight below 10,000 pounds–could replace its fleet of Raytheon T-1A Jayhawk trainers. The service conducted similar market research in 2006.
China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (Caiga), a subsidiary of state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (Avic), has started the “trial production” of a prototype for the new business jet it is planning to develop based on the existing Cirrus Vision SF50 design. Caiga acquired U.S.-based Cirrus Industries in 2011.
Albuquerque, N.M.-based Eclipse Aerospace responded Friday to a U.S. Air Force request for information (RFI) concerning possible replacement of the service’s 178 Beechjet 400-based T-1 Jayhawks with very light jets. This is the second time the USAF has put out feelers for VLJs, having issued a broader RFI for these small jets in November 2006.
Embraer Executive Jets has launched the Embraer Executive Care (EEC) Engine Add-On option, which complements the EEC and the Eagle Service Plan (ESP) programs. The new EEC Engine Add-On option helps Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 operators to streamline and simplify invoice and payment processes, addressing what Embraer says is one of its customers’ main concerns.
Eclipse Aerospace’s new 550 very light jet will feature an enhanced vision system (EVS) sensor made by Lexavia. The Lexavia LFS6000 infrared sensor has a 640- by 480-sensor element and 4X zoom. EVS imagery will be displayed on the Eclipse 550’s MFD, which is part of the jet’s Innovative Solutions & Support Avio/IFMS flight deck. The EVS sensor is mounted in a low-profile housing that projects 1.42 inches above the fuselage nose surface.
For the first time in more than four years, new aircraft have emerged from the former Eclipse Aviation final-assembly facility in Albuquerque, N.M. Two unfinished airframes left on the assembly line when that company declared bankruptcy in November 2008 were recently completed by the resurrected company, Eclipse Aerospace, and outfitted as factory-new Total Eclipse twinjets.
This formation of 27 Eclipse light jets was part of a larger group that descended on Branson Airport in Missouri for the Eclipse Owners Club Fall Fly-In last month. Forty-three of the twinjets met up in what was one of the largest gatherings of the same model private jet ever to land on a field at one time. Eclipse Aviation built 261 of the EA500s before it went bankrupt in 2008. Eclipse Aerospace, which acquired the company’s assets, announced it has restarted production with deliveries of the updated Eclipse 550 expected next year.
Cessna Aircraft brought a fuselage mockup of what it describes as the basis for a new series of light jets to the NBAA Convention this week in Orlando, Fla. The airframer is seeking customer input on the design as it begins to narrow down specifications for an eventual product launch. New this year at its NBAA booth, Cessna is also offering a virtual-reality simulation of several of its aircraft, which allows guests to immerse themselves in the cabins and instantly change various features.
Eclipse Aerospace took an important and large step toward resuming new production of its light twinjet yesterday. The company placed a production order Innovative Solutions & Support (Booth No. 4331) for the initial 50 of 300 shipsets ordered of the Eclipse 550 Avio integrated flight management system (IFMS), which includes dual FMS, autothrottles, synthetic vision, integrated Taws and enhanced vision system (EVS). The IS&S suite also features electronic circuit breakers, radios, transponders and radar.