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.
Very light jets
Cirrus Aircraft is here exhibiting its SR22 piston single on the static display in a bid to persuade business aircraft owners that “there is always a good reason to have another plane,” as Jan-Peter Fisher, a Cirrus representative in Germany, put it. For example, the SR22 can land at small airfields that cannot accommodate a business jet. The five-seater is “about the fun of flying,” Fisher went on, not forgetting to mention the high cruise speed for the category: 200 knots.
GE Honda Aero Engines has announced that its 2,095-pound-thrust HF120 turbofan intended initially for the HondaJet is nearing completion of certification tests and is on track for delivery of the first entry into service engines before year-end. “We now have a line-of-sight for certification and we are gaining experience on the fleet,” said GE Honda Aero president Terry Sharp.
Accompanied by plumes of dry ice pouring from the edges of a black-curtained mockup and the music from the Superman movie, chairman Oscar Schwenk called for the unveiling of Pilatus Aircraft’s long-awaited new twinjet project, the PC-24.
Michimasa Fujino, president and CEO of Honda Aircraft, said here at EBACE yesterday that, “The [HondaJet] program is steadily progressing toward certification and first delivery.” He now expects FAA type certification of the light jet in the fourth quarter of 2014, with EASA certification to follow within six months.
Honda Aircraft has extended by another year its target for obtaining certification for the HondaJet, to the end of next year, according to a company spokesman. “We are targeting HondaJet certification by the end of 2014, based on the engine testing and certification schedule,” he said. The jet’s GE Honda Aero HF120 engine is now scheduled to receive certification in fourth quarter 2013. No further details were available at press time, but Honda Aircraft plans to provide more information at an EBACE press conference on May 20.
Jim Rice, chairman and CEO of VisionAire Jets, surfaced at ABACE 2013 this week in Shanghai to market the benefits of a single-engine jet and tell potential investors about the program. VisionAire Jets is developing the all-composite Vantage Jet, which will be powered by a single Williams International FJ33-3AP turbofan and fly up to 1,500 nm with a pilot and five passengers.
The future of business aviation in China will include single-engine jets, so says Jim Rice, chairman and CEO of VisionAire Jets, who is here promoting the Vantage composite jet. Rice came to ABACE 2013 not only to show the Chinese market the benefits of a single-engine jet, but also to tell potential investors about the VisionAire program.
Cirrus Aircraft remains committed to the single-engine Vision SF50 jet program, and with suspension of the Diamond D-Jet is now the front-runner in the race to bring a single-engine jet to market. Cirrus has hired more than 100 engineers, designers and technicians for the Vision team and is recruiting additional personnel, according to the company. Most recently, Cirrus promoted former executive v-p and COO Pat Waddick to president and COO.
Eclipse Aerospace powered up the first production Eclipse 550 very light jet at its Albuquerque, N.M. facility, the company announced yesterday. An Eclipse spokesperson told AIN the process entailed “a normal power on of both [Pratt & Whitney PW610F turbofans] and all aircraft systems.”