Honda Aircraft announced this morning deals with three major component suppliers for the HondaJet. GKN Aerospace of Tallassee, Ala., will supply the structural subassembly for the fuselage, while Avcorp of Delta, British Columbia, will provide the wing structure sub-assembly. Both are major suppliers of civil and defense aerospace systems and components.
Very light jets
On the heels of the termination of a training contract with United Airlines (a mutual agreement the companies said), Eclipse Aviation said it is “currently in negotiations” with a new training partner for the Eclipse 500 very light twinjet.
Aviation Technology Group (ATG) is expecting to receive FAA certification and begin customer deliveries of the Javelin two-seat jet next year. The company recently moved its hangar operations from Colorado’s Centennial Airport to Front Range Airport, where manufacturing and flight operations are located. The company’s headquarters remain at Centennial.
Piper Aircraft, whose dealers are working with Honda Aircraft to sell and service the HondaJet, continues with its plans to find a suitable location to build the single-engine PiperJet. While there is no joint effort in engineering and manufacturing of the two jets, “Piper continues to enjoy a strong cooperative relationship with Honda as both companies develop their respective jet programs,” said a Piper spokesman.
Shipments of general aviation aircraft last year increased significantly over 2005, resulting in record highs in billings and in business jet deliveries.
Eclipse Aviation and United Airlines have “mutually agreed to terminate their pilot training program,” according to Michelle Burns, manager of training development for United’s flight training division. In 2004 Eclipse and United announced that the airline’s training division would provide screening for Eclipse pilots and type rating training.
While it is normal for a start-up to experience teething troubles, Eclipse Aviation president and CEO Vern Raburn conceded in letters sent last week to Eclipse 500 customers that his company has had “far more challenges than we anticipated.” For some time, serious problems–what Raburn calls a “perfect storm”–have plagued virtually every aspect of development, design and production of the very light twinjet.
VLJ developer Eclipse Aviation announced last week that its relationship with avionics supplier Avidyne has ended. Eclipse plans to announce shortly which companies will supply components for the Model 500’s Avio integrated avionics system. AIN has been told by a source close to the process that Honeywell will be sharing the job with another specialist, thought to be Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S).
Eclipse Aviation’s fourth conforming flight-test aircraft, N505EA, which experienced a gear-up landing on September 4 at Albuquerque International Sunport, will be repaired and back in the air by the end of October, according to a company spokesman. The two pilots on board were not injured during the accident, which Eclipse said was caused by pilot error.
Aviation Technology Group’s Javelin very light jet (VLJ) prototype flew for the first time last Friday. ATG markets the ejection-seat-equipped, two-place aircraft as a military trainer as well as a business jet. During the 35-minute mission from Centennial Airport, Colo., test pilots flew the prototype to 12,000 feet and 180 knots with its gear down.