Despite a last-minute change of venue and dates for this year's NBAA Convention due to the devastation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, it appears that the event–which closes tomorrow–will be as successful as ever. The number of exhibitors and aircraft on display at the Orlando, Fla. Venue exceed last year's show in Las Vegas, and there has been no decrease in expected announcements of new and derivative aircraft.
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Aircraft
News and issues relating to business, aircraft, primarily turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters.
Cessna is calling for an additional 260 Citation owners and operators from among NBAA attendees to meet the target total of 400 aircraft for the fifth annual Citation Special Olympics Airlift, July 2 to 7 next year at Iowa State University in Ames. The event will be the largest ever, with the need to carry more than 2,500 athletes, coaches and delegates.
Significant fleet orders were announced today for the Eclipse 500, Citation and Avanti at NBAA 2005. Linear Air of Lexington, Mass., and JetSet Air of the UK have placed firm orders for 15 and 30 Eclipse 500 very light jets, respectively. These transactions bring the Eclipse order book to 2,350 airplanes (1,592 firm orders and 765 options), all secured with nonrefundable deposits, the company said.
Pilatus’ PC-12 turboprop single will receive several upgrades next year, raising the base price of the aircraft by $80,000 to $2.79 million and a typically equipped aircraft to $3.4 million, according to a spokesperson for Pilatus Business Aircraft in Broomfield, Colo. The 2006 PC-12 will offer an additional 530 pounds of useful load, bringing it from 3,600 to 4,130 pounds for a typically equipped aircraft in an executive configuration.
Boeing Business Jets announced yesterday at the Dubai Air Show that it is now offering the BBJ3, an executive version of its new 737-900ER. With five auxiliary fuel tanks, the BBJ3 will have a range of 4,765 nm. Its 1,120-sq-ft cabin is 35 percent more than that of a BBJ and 11 percent more than that of the BBJ2. The list price is $62.5 million, but it will be a while before deliveries can begin.
A jury in Anchorage, Alaska, reached a verdict in favor of Cessna in a lawsuit arising from the Oct. 10, 2001 crash of a PenAir Caravan near Dillingham, Alaska. The plaintiffs, relatives of the 10 people killed in the crash, claimed the Caravan had design defects that made it dangerous to fly in icing conditions. The jury found that “no defects” of the Caravan contributed to the accident.
EADS Socata today unveiled the TBM 850, a slightly faster, re-engined version of its TBM 700 turboprop single. The new model will have a maximum cruise speed of 320 knots, 20 knots faster than its predecessor thanks to a higher-power 1,825-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66D engine (derated to 850 shp). The TBM 700 is powered by a 1,583-shp PT6A-64 derated to 700 shp.
An ongoing “supplier problem” is casting a shadow over Eclipse Aviation’s receipt of its first type inspection authorization (TIA) from the FAA earlier this month. The TIA authorizes agency personnel to begin performing onboard aircraft testing of the Eclipse 500 for certification credit. But the supplier problem–which sources say is related to the avionics system–could delay the March certification target for Eclipse’s very light jet.
On December 15, the European Aviation Safety Agency awarded the type certificate for the Ibis Aerospace Ae270 turboprop single to Aero Vodochody, the Czech partner in the joint venture with Taiwan’s Aerospace Industries Development. FAA approval is expected shortly. Ibis said its expects to receive additional financing next year that will fund development to the production phase.
Health and security assistance provider MedAire disclosed that its two largest shareholders have reached a letter of agreement “outlining mutual goals and strategies in relation to the direction and control of MedAire” that would effectively place control of the company in the hands of its largest competitor, International SOS (ISOS).