The rulers in the Arabian Gulf region strive for bigger and better in practically every pursuit they undertake, and that includes air transport. So when Boeing drew its plans for its proposed new 777X, its considerations no doubt included the needs of those in the Middle East, who are some of the biggest customers for the current 777.
Fast-growing Russian leasing group Ilyushin Finance Co. (ILC) is targeting the Middle East market with a portfolio of five airliners that could exploit the increasingly blurred lines between traditional regional air transport fleets and new-generation narrowbodies.
This is a banner year for Gore Design Completions (Booth No. N4900), according to Mohammed Alzeer, the company’s general partner, who announced here at NBAA 2013 that Gore had received a contract to complete two Boeing 787 Dreamliners in head-of-state VVIP configuration. The aircraft will be delivered from Boeing to Gore’s San Antonio, Texas facility.
If you want to see the inside of a really big business jet–one that’s the size of an airliner–at the NBAA 2013 static display at Henderson Executive Airport, you may encounter a silk rope draped across the handrails at the bottom of the passenger stairs. A professionally attired man or woman standing by the rope will explain that the aircraft is being shown and then politely suggest, “Please come back later.” Later could take a long time.
Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company has produced the first VIP version of its new Superjet SSJ-100 airliner. The first example of the Sukhoi Business Jet was on display at last month’s MAKS airshow in Moscow. It is due to go to Russian defense export agency Rosoboronexport by year-end. This aircraft is based on the standard SSJ-100 model but future SBJs will be based on the long-range version of the narrowbody.
Jet Aviation’s Basel, Switzerland location signed a completion contract for a private Airbus A340-600 long-range widebody. Work on the green Airbus will start in next year’s first quarter. The A340’s cabin will be configured with dining and lounge areas, two bedroom suites with adjoining bathrooms, office and executive seating areas, as well as high-density aft seating. Jet Aviation completed and delivered two private A340s last year.
Airbus Corporate Jet Center is the first completion shop to install and activate a Ku-band-based “global communication suite” on a single-aisle Airbus, in this case an ACJ319. Installed in close collaboration with Panasonic, the system’s Ku-Band antenna provides “superior performance” at high latitudes and in the equatorial region, offering high-speed data and live TV anywhere around the world. Ku-band antennas are typically used by airlines, though ACJC said demand is picking up for this technology in the business jet market.
Some aircraft have had better safety records over the past decade than others, according to data produced by airlineratings.com. Not surprisingly, newer Western-built airliners, such as most Boeing, Airbus, Embraer and Bombardier models, are rated the safest. The least safe aircraft include the Czech Let-410, which has experienced 20 accidents over the past 10 years; both the Ilyushin Il-72 and Antonov An-12, which logged 17 each; and the de Havilland Canada Twin Otter, with 18.
The newest version of the Sukhoi Superjet, SSJ100-95LR, first flown in February this year, has the suffix that is an abbreviation for Long Range, but some would argue that “Last Resort” might better describe the situation in terms of its significance to Russia’s aerospace industry.
Japan’s first indigenous commercial passenger jet, the MRJ, is on track to make its first flight this year, according to Hideo Egawa, chairman and CEO of Mitsubishi Aircraft. While Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has long contributed components and assemblies in support of other manufacturer’s projects, the next-generation MRJ represents its first designed and produced passenger jet. Indeed, Egawa described the task of integrating all the efforts to produce the regional jet as one of the biggest challenges Mitsubishi Aircraft has faced since its launch in 2008.