Eclipse Aviation has released the final performance numbers for the Eclipse 500, and it meets or exceeds all of the guarantees but one. Critics missed the mark that the very light jet couldn't meet its high-speed guarantee–Eclipse says the VLJ's top speed is 370 knots, well within the margins. And when it comes to useful load, the aircraft will deliver 2,400 pounds, some 200 pounds more than promised.
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News and issues relating to business, aircraft, primarily turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters.
San Antonio-based Sino Swearingen hopes to deliver its first SJ30-2 before the end of this month, some nine months after receiving FAA certification for the $6.19 million light twinjet. The statement was made in conjunction with an announcement last Thursday that Sino Swearingen will build a $20 million, 220,000-sq-ft manufacturing and assembly building at San Antonio International Airport.
Merritt Island, Fla.-based Comp Air recently unveiled plans to certify its 10-seat, all-composite Comp Air 12 turboprop single. The Honeywell TPE331-14GR-powered airplane is expected to enter flight testing in the fourth quarter, with certification slated for 2009.
On June 14, Beechjet 400A N440DS lost all power from both Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-5 engines while the airplane was in cruise flight at FL380 near Norfolk, Va. Unsure if they could remain clear of clouds, the pilots decided to turn on the engine anti-ice.
After operating below the radar for several years, Maverick Jets, now headquartered in Jackson, Wyo., revealed it is working on a next-generation Maverick Leader called the SmartJet. The five-seat, twin-turbofan, all-composite SmartJet has a planned mtow of 4,160 pounds, an empty weight of 2,150 pounds, a normal cruise speed of 277 knots at 22,000 feet and a max range of 1,250 nm.
Earthjet–a proposed new light-jet air-taxi network–says that it has narrowed the choice of manufacturers to two companies to build the start-up’s envisaged airplanes. According to company president Dean Rotchin, one of the contenders is already flying a prototype of a jet that is close to Earthjet’s desired specifications–flying four passengers up to 1,000 miles in a cabin larger than that of a very light jet (VLJ).
Despite limited availability of near-term delivery slots, order and shipment activity at Cessna continues to be “extremely strong and is showing no signs of abatement anytime soon,” according to Lewis Campbell, chairman, president and CEO of Cessna parent Textron. Cessna delivered 74 Citations in the third quarter and expects to ship 85 in the fourth quarter, to bring this year’s total to more than 300.
Honda Aircraft revealed the price, projected performance figures and other details of the HondaJet very light twinjet. The company plans to certify the jet for single-pilot operations under Part 23 and start deliveries in 2010, and it submitted a type certificate application to the FAA on October 11.
It wouldn’t be an NBAA Convention if Cessna failed to announce a new Citation, and this year it introduced two: the clean-sheet CJ4 and the XLS+ upgrade. First flight of the 11-seat CJ4 is planned for spring 2008, with FAA certification to follow in late 2009. Service entry of the $7.995 million twinjet is expected in spring 2010. As of today, Cessna said it has orders for 70 CJ4s.
Pilatus revealed a next-generation PC-12 featuring a more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada turboprop engine and a four-tube Honeywell Apex integrated avionics suite. The Swiss airframer said a program is under way to certify the enhanced version of the aircraft by the end of next year, with deliveries to start immediately afterward.