With the official acknowledgement by NetJets that it will buy up to 275 Challenger 350s (100 firm, 175 on options), the Columbus, Ohio-based fractional share company becomes the worldwide launch partner for the new super-midsize jet, a distinction NetJets chairman and CEO Jordan Hansell all too happily embraced here in Geneva. Previously, although the order had been announced in June 2012, it was billed as being only for “Challenger 300-series jets.”
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Aircraft
News and issues relating to business, aircraft, primarily turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters.
Ruag Aviation has delivered its first cabin completion project, a Bombardier CRJ200 airliner that was transformed into a 10-seat VIP configuration. The entire cabin, including electrics, was reworked with a luxury interior that included wireless cabin entertainment, private area, club seating and dining areas. The company’s cabin interior program offers a one-stop-shop that covers design consultancy, cabin design, furniture construction, cabin integration and certification. It also offers exterior painting and design services.
Aviation Partners, Inc. (API, Booth 283) is anticipating EASA certification of its winglets for retrofit to Dassault Falcon 50 jets in the coming weeks. The expected approval will be the European counterpart of the FAA supplemental type certificate received in September 2012. The aerodynamic devices are the same “high-Mach blended winglets” currently available on the Falcon 2000 and 900 series (all three Falcon series share the same wing) and are promised to provide drag reduction and corresponding range increase of “5 to 7 percent at typical intermediate to long range cruise speeds.”
That Bombardier’s new Challenger 350 has the seal of approval from its celebrity brand ambassador John Travolta is hardly surprising. What did grab people’s attention at EBACE yesterday was that the movie star has been working as a flight test pilot supporting the airframer’s efforts to get the new super-midsized jet certified. “I felt like an astronaut,” he told a packed Bombardier booth here in Geneva yesterday. “We did full performance takeoffs and climbed straight to 41,000 feet. This aircraft is definitely going to break records. It’s like a homesick angel.”
Dubai-based service provider Jetex Flight Support is expanding its reach in Europe and looking for new opportunities. Among its most recent developments is the opening in January of a new flight-planning lounge at London Oxford Airport, in so doing becoming the airport’s first external partner. The lounge is in the Oxfordjet FBO and comprises a newly furnished planning room with aeronautical charts and three computers for visiting aircrew.
Just prior to EBACE, Hangar8 received the documents that secured a landmark dispensation from the Cayman Islands aircraft registry, allowing Hangar8 to operate Cayman-registered aircraft under its UK AOC, as long as the aircraft type itself is already covered by the AOC. This allows Caymans aircraft to be chartered out, and also to be operated under public transport regulations, which are exempt from VAT and minerals tax.
Last month London Oxford Airport-based Hangar8 welcomed two additions to its growing fleet of aircraft available for charter–a pair of Bombardier Global Express aircraft, operating from Oxford and London Luton Airport. The new jets strengthen Hangar8’s long-range fleet and highlight the company’s continued worldwide growth.
Daher-Socata is here at EBACE (Booth 1643) with its model year 2013 TBM 850 Elite, featuring a special cabin equipment package. The Tarbes, France-based company sold 38 examples of the single-engine turboprop last year, while its specialist aerostructures activities mean that it is involved in still-under-wraps business jet programs.
Bombardier Aerospace took the wraps off the Challenger 350–an upgraded Challenger 300 with a new wing, more powerful engines, larger windows and redesigned interior–today at EBACE. NetJets was also announced as the launch customer for the new $25.8 million twinjet, which is $1 million more than its fraternal twin that Bombardier will continue to offer. First deliveries of the new Challenger are scheduled to begin in May 2014.
Today at EBACE, Nextant Aerospace launched the $4.95 million 400XTi (the “i” stands for innovation) as the latest evolution of its remanufactured Beechjet. Compared to the 400XT, the new version introduces a number of improvements, including an all-new cabin that offers more space and reduced noise.