Avic International Aero-Development Corp. (Avic ADE; Booth P102, Static Display), exclusive sales representative in the Greater China region for Nextant Aerospace, U.S.-based business aircraft remanufacturer, is displaying here at ABACE a Beechcraft King Air C90 turboprop twin–the platform for Nextant’s latest product, the G90XT.
When their partnership was announced at ABACE last year, Avic ADE was expected to take delivery of a Nextant 400XTi, a remanufactured Beechjet 400A/XP light jet, by the end of 2014. Since it’s remanufactured from an existing aircraft, the 400XTi, powered by Williams FJ44-3AP engines and featuring a Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 integrated flight deck, costs about half the price of new aircraft in the light jet category, according to Nextant.
But due to customer demand in other parts of the world, no 400XTi is yet available for Avic ADE, said Wu Jianghua, the company’s senior business aviation sales manager. However, China’s first 400XTi is on the way and a customer is waiting in the wings, said Jianghua. “The aircraft was completed just this month, but we could not get it in time for ABACE.”
Nonetheless, during the past year Avic ADE helped Nextant receive CAAC certification and arranged the agreement appointing maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) provider Staeco (Beijing) Business Jet Maintenance Co. Ltd. as its first authorized service center in Greater China, expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2016. Avic ADE hopes to make “one or two” 400XTi deliveries this year, Jianghua said.
Meanwhile, Jianghua expects the G90XT to make a big splash in China. “Chinese customers are very excited by this product. A lot of C90s are in China right now, but due to design they cannot satisfy CAAC Part 135 charter regulations.” The G90XT, however, will meet these standards, greatly increasing their potential commercial applications. FAA certification of the G90XT is expected this month, and CAAC approval is expected at the end of this year or early 2016.
Nextant completely guts, strips, and essentially “zero times” each airframe before installing new engines, avionics and interiors, and then repainting them. As remanufactured aircraft, CAAC certifies Nextant with a VSTC (verified supplemental type certificate) rather than the VTC (verified type certificate) it bestows upon original aircraft it approves.
Nextant is now developing its third remanufactured product. “They’re going to do a large business jet,” said Jianghua, citing Avic ADE’s discussions with Nextant. Speculation has focused on the Gulfstream GIV as the platform. Whatever the model, Avic ADE will be ready to offer it to customers in the region. “Our relationship is solid,” said Jianghua. “Nextant trusts us in our ability for sales and marketing in China.”