Significant increases in orders and deliveries will boost substantially the production of Cessna and Gulfstream business jets, according to the 2005 year-end financial reports just released by the OEMs’ respective parent companies, Textron and General Dynamics. Cessna booked orders for 100 Citations in the fourth quarter, bringing last year’s total orders to 329.
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Aircraft
News and issues relating to business, aircraft, primarily turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters.
A two-year-old, previously undisclosed partnership between Epic Aircraft parent Aircraft Investor Resources (AIR) and Farnborough Aircraft Corp. Ltd. (FACL) has ended in legal action. The companies had been cooperating in the joint development of their respective Epic LT and Kestrel JP100 (formerly Farnborough F1) turboprop-single designs.
The FAA has scheduled a public meeting on March 22 and 23 in Kansas City, Mo., to address continued airworthiness of the U.S. general aviation fleet of recip and turbine airplanes. The meeting comes nearly six years after the first such gathering in 2000. No rulemaking followed that first meeting, but since then “there have been GA fatal accidents caused by the effects of airplane aging,” the agency said.
Reporting today on its year-end results, Raytheon said that Raytheon Aircraft delivered 255 turbine business airplanes last year (141 jets and 114 King Airs) compared with 219 (115 jets and 104 King Airs) in 2004. This was an increase of 16.4 percent year over year, just short of Raytheon’s revised forecast of 267 turbine business airplanes.
Last week, a federal judge ruled that Epic Aircraft parent Aircraft Investor Resources (AIR) must provide Farnborough Aircraft Corp. Ltd. (FACL) “with immediate access to the F1 prototype at the heart” of a lawsuit filed in November (see AINonline). Under the judgment, AIR was required to transport the prototype F1 to its Bend, Ore. plant, after which it will have until early March to mate a set of wings to FACL’s turboprop single.
The general aviation industry in 2005 reached an all-time record for billings and a four-year high in new turbine airplane deliveries. According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, billings of $15.1 billion on the shipment of 3,580 piston and turbine airplanes last year was a 27.2-percent increase from the $11.9 billion on the shipment of 2,963 airplanes in 2004.
Dassault has locked in its decision to push the Falcon 7X’s range from 5,700 nm to 6,000 nm and boost payload by 50 percent. The design improvements to the trijet include the installation of additional fuel tanks, an increase in thrust for the Pratt & Whitney Canada 307A turbofans and incorporation of Dassault-designed winglets. After wind-tunnel testing early in the 7X program, winglets were rejected.
Dassault chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne said yesterday that the company ended last year with record sales for 123 Falcon business jets–the first time the company has sold more than 100 Falcons in a single year, “and this without the benefit of multiple sales to fractional providers.” At the end of last year, Dassault said it had a total backlog of more than 200 aircraft.
South Africa-based ExecuJet Aviation and Swiss-based Pilatus decided to end their eight-year-old relationship servicing and selling the PC-12 turboprop single.
General aviation is not going to “blacken the sky” with very light jets, said General Aviation Manufacturers Association president and CEO Pete Bunce, and he took issue with those who would use that claim for a “misguided imposition” of user fees on GA.