Look for a new single-engine jet to be unveiled at the NBAA Convention this month. Spectrum Aeronautical, based in Encinitas, Calif., and led by industry veteran (and father of the Beech Starship) Linden Blue, has taken a booth at the convention. Its product is the Model 33, a single-engine jet with composite construction. N322LA is the registration assigned to S/N 0001.
Very light jets
GE Honda Aero Engines, though it has yet to announce an airframe application for its engine, continues to develop its HF118 1,700-pound-thrust turbofan. The company validated durability and performance enhancements on rig tests held in March at Honda’s facility in Japan.
Two more established OEMs–Embraer and Raytheon Aircraft–confirmed they are looking at introducing aircraft into the light or very light jet market. But they have yet to commit to firm projects as Cessna has with the Citation Mustang.
According to the National Business Travel Association, U.S. businesses spend $29 billion a year for approximately 65 million trips on the airlines. But with airlines reducing flights from non-hub airports by 19 percent last year, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for some employees to get from Point A to B using the airlines.
With very light jets (VLJs) expected to enter service by this time next year, turboprop singles are now meeting the contender face-to-face in the marketplace. It was bound to happen, given that the two different classes of airplane have similar range capabilities, cabin volume and acquisition costs.
Eclipse Aviation of Albuquerque, N.M., increased the price of its Eclipse 500 very light twinjet to $1.295 million (in 2000 dollars), a jump of $120,000 over the previous tag. The new price is still less than that of any of the other very light twinjets under development.
Some 7,417 business jets will be delivered between 2005 and 2014, peaking with the shipment of more than 800 jets in 2013, according to the Teal Group’s 15th annual business jet forecast. This projection is for about 35 percent more jets than the approximately 5,500 actually delivered between 1995 and 2004.
The first public flight exhibition for the Eclipse 500 very light jet is planned on July 27 during the annual EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., from July 25 to 31. “We think Oshkosh is the perfect showcase, because of its huge audience and reputation for fostering innovations,” said Eclipse Aviation president and CEO Vern Raburn.
Embraer, which has sustained a presence in the business aviation market with the Legacy, a corporate version of its ERJ 135 regional jet, last month announced two clean-sheet additions to its business jet portfolio–a light jet and a very light jet (VLJ).
Houston-based Magnum Jet has placed an order for 50 Phenom 100s, with options for another 50 Phenom 100s and/or 300s. The start-up company plans to offer “a turnkey ownership and comprehensive management program for very light jet owners and will operate…air limousine service for regional travel.” Magnum Jet is scheduled to take delivery of its first Phenom 100 in early 2009.