This year’s Paris Air Show at Le Bourget provided an opportunity for me to see Dassault’s new Falcon 7X up close before I got my chance at the left seat, alongside Dassault 26-year veteran senior test pilot Yves (Bill) Kerherve, who has since retired from the company. A former French Navy fighter pilot, Kerherve flew the ultra-quiet 7X through a series of maneuvers for the crowd on the opening day of the show.
Bombardier Global Express
Savannah Air Center has received the first FAA certification of dual crew-rest areas on Bombardier’s Global Express XRS. The approval was granted as part of an overall completion of a green aircraft and allows operators to fly Part 135 nonstop legs of more than 12 hours. The designated crew-rest areas are located in the cabin compartment aft of the cabin door and the aft compartment immediately forward of the lavatory.
Forecast International of Newtown, Conn., released its most recent 10-year outlook, The World Market for Business Jet Aircraft, at the Farnborough Air Show last month.
Just days after receiving airworthiness certification from Transport Canada, Bombardier’s first Global 5000 with a finished interior made its debut at the Farnborough Air Show (held July 19 to 25), where it was also announced that the Canadian-built business jet has received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification.
In a ceremony yesterday that briefly took on the appearance of a celebratory conga line at the Bombardier stand (Booth No. 7500), three customers signed contracts for a total of four aircraft valued at approximately $101.4 million.
Rolls-Royce, widely known for heavy engines, such as the Trent powering the Airbus A380 and Boeing B747, is in fact a pre-eminent provider of business jet engines and claims a 34 percent share of that market. The company delivered 328 engines for corporate aircraft last year, up from 250 in 2005. Rolls-Royce’s involvement with business aircraft began in 1958 with the Dart-powered Gulfstream I twin turboprop.
Bombardier Aerospace is another manufacturer celebrating the rapid growth of European business aviation, announcing that Zug, Switzerland-based VistaJet has added to its existing all-Bombardier fleet.
Midcoast Aviation and Savannah Air Center were selected as factory authorized preferred completion centers to conduct interior completions for the Bombardier Global 5000 and Global Express XRS. Based in St-Louis, Mo., Midcoast Aviation, is a full-service aircraft maintenance, modification and completions provider, including avionics and exterior paint services.
Bombardier set a new record for business jet deliveries in its latest financial year, shipping 212 airplanes in the 12 months to January 2007. But the weakness of the U.S. dollar means the Canadian industrial group’s aerospace division, with much of its manufacturing concentrated in Canada and the UK, has some way to go to match industry-best margins.
Banking and oil heir Michael Huffington, who is suing Bombardier over a Global Express he first ordered in 1995 and later rejected after he learned the aircraft had been struck by lightning, has produced a consultant’s report hoping to bolster his lawsuit against Bombardier. That report claims that the GEX is far more likely to be hit by lightning and suffer serious damage than its competitors. Bombardier disputes the report.