- July 22, 2010, 9:49 AM
Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Aerospace is aiming to be not only a tier-one supplier of large composite structures to Airbus or Boeing, but also a business jet manufacturer. Yesterday at the Farnborough airshow, Mubadala Aerospace executive director Homaid Al Shemmari told AIN in an exclusive interview that the company intends to build a “business jet-sized aircraft” for entry into service in 2018. “We will design, manufacture and support this aircraft,” he said. The move follows Mubadala’s purchase of a 35-percent stake in Genoa, Italy-based Piaggio in 2006. The Italian manufacturer is a specialist in composites and, according to Al Shemmari, will be a major contributor to the design of the new aircraft. He declined to be more specific about how Piaggio will be involved in the new business jet and whether the aircraft will carry the name of the Italian company. “These are decisions we have not made,” Al Shemmari noted. At Ebace, Piaggio said it is working on a new aircraft called the P1XX, but Mubadala clearly is behind the funding of the program and will provide major subassemblies, even if final assembly takes place at Piaggio’s Genoa factory, where the P.180 Avanti II twin turboprop is now built.