Zurich-based startup JetBird announced it ordered 50 Phenom 100s, a very light jet under development by Embraer, for a planned European on-demand air taxi service. The $140-million contract includes an option to purchase 50 additional aircraft over five years and allows JetBird to convert its positions into either the four-passenger Phenom 100 or the nine-passenger Phenom 300, a light jet also under development by Embraer.
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Aircraft
News and issues relating to business, aircraft, primarily turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters.
Excel-Jet’s four-seat, single-engine very light jet, the Sport-Jet, flew for the first time this past weekend from Colorado Springs Airport. According to company president and founder Bob Bornhofen, as of yesterday the Sport-Jet had logged nearly four hours.
Gulfstream Aerospace president Bryan Moss has dismissed the company’s long-discussed “Quiet Supersonic Jet” (QSJ). At a press conference at EBACE earlier this month, he asked, “Will Gulfstream build a supersonic business jet? Read my lips: No!” He said the company is devoting its research efforts in this field to two issues: rule changes that would allow supersonic flight over land and sonic-boom suppression.
Tony Fox, the 84-year-old entrepreneur credited by those with long memories as being the father of the very light jet, this week sold the 1970s-era Foxjet design to start-up Millennium Aerospace of California. “My dream is to see the Foxjet flying during my lifetime…I’ve talked with 50 or 60 different prospective buyers recently, and I was convinced Millennium Aerospace has what it takes to get the Foxjet airborne,” said Fox.
A Max-Viz enhanced vision system (EVS) for the Citation Excel and XLS and a Collins Integrated Flight Information System (IFIS) for the CJ1 and CJ2 were among product upgrades introduced to more than 400 Citation operators attending Cessna’s annual customer conference in Wichita this week. Cessna also detailed several new programs designed to improve flight planning and maintenance for all Citation operators.
An increase in business jet sales and deliveries continued to bolster the aerospace arm of Bombardier, according to the Canadian manufacturer’s financial results for its first quarter that ended April 30. In the February to April period, Bombardier delivered 53 business jets, compared with 43 in the same period last year, a 23-percent increase.
Raytheon Aircraft yesterday reached the FAA’s five-year time limit for certification of the Hawker 4000 (née Horizon) under Part 25 amendments that existed at the time of type certification application. In anticipation of not receiving type certification before the deadline, Raytheon applied for an extension on May 11, and today the FAA granted an extension of seven months, to December 31.
DayJet, which plans to start per-seat, on-demand operations using Eclipse 500s in November, yesterday unveiled its five initial DayPorts (service cities), all of them in Florida: Boca Raton, Gainesville, Lakeland, Pensacola and Tallahassee. DayJet chose these cities because each represents a “strong and growing local economy and business environment that is underserved” by airlines.
Embraer yesterday announced that it sold its first Phenom business jets in the Middle East as part of a three-aircraft deal with Kuwaiti VIP charter operator United Aviation. The contract comprises a Phenom 100 and Phenom 300, as well as a single midsize Legacy 600. At list price, the sale would bring $33.1 million.
The sole Sport-Jet prototype crashed while taking off from Colorado Springs Airport last Thursday. According to the NTSB, the single-engine VLJ was substantially damaged–“both landing-gear assemblies separated, the left wing was crushed and bent aft at midspan and the horizontal stabilizer was crushed.” Pilot James Stewart and mechanic John Welty were “seriously injured,” the Safety Board said.