Bombardier’s Challenger 605, announced at the 2005 NBAA Convention, made a nearly 3.5-hour maiden flight on January 22 in Montreal. “The first flight went very well,” pilot Frank Magnusson told AIN. “There were no surprises at all.” The length of the flight was longer than is typical. Said Magnusson, “The airplane performed flawlessly so we just kept going.” The flight ended as sunset approached.
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Aircraft
News and issues relating to business, aircraft, primarily turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters.
Cessna’s Citation Mustang on September 8 became the first very light jet to be fully FAA type certified. Its P&WC PW615F engine was FAA certified on the same day. See page 20 for a program update and page 58 for the first pilot report since the Mustang got its papers.
About a week after the January 22 first flight of the Challenger 605, Bombardier relocated the test airplane to Wichita to begin the approximately 200 flight hours needed to achieve certification in the fourth quarter.
Spirit Wing Aviation of Guthrie, Okla., has begun the final phase of flight-testing the Spirit-Lear, a re-engined and modified Learjet 24/25. Extensive testing of all SpiritLear systems was ongoing at press time, with STC approval now expected by the end of this summer–a delay from previous estimates of the first quarter.
The Socata TBM 850, a faster, more powerful derivative of the TBM 700 turboprop single, received FAA approval on January 23, six weeks after the EASA certified the airplane. On the same day, the first production TBM 850 made its maiden flight with EADS Socata chief pilot Christian Briand at the controls accompanied by flight-test engineer Alain Arnaud.
The FAA is not planning to ground the Mitsubishi MU-2, despite a plea from Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey in a letter sent June 23 last year. Nor does Mitsubishi Heavy Industries plan to issue a “voluntary recall,” as Tancredo requested in a subsequent letter dated September 29.
The dawn of the very light jet (VLJ) is nearly upon us, with the first, the Eclipse 500, set to receive FAA certification in June. Hot on the heels of the Eclipse VLJ is Cessna’s Citation Mustang and 10 other potential competitors.
Universal Avionics last month said it flew its first test flight with the new “W” series flight-management system (FMS) designed for compatibility with the wide-area augmentation system (WAAS).
Elliott Aviation has introduced an interior upgrade kit that it says can morph that aging King Air 200 cabin into the equivalent of that of a new [but larger] King Air 350.
Elliott launched the program early last year, and, according to interiors manager Jude Zimmerman, “We’ve already done three King Air 200s and one older King Air 300.” Two more King Air 200s are due in for an inner facelift this spring.
Last month Raytheon Aircraft received FAA certification for the Hawker 850XP, essentially a Hawker 800XP with homegrown winglets. Raytheon said the outwardly canted winglets, which are constructed of lightweight composite material, enhance aerodynamic performance, boosting range by up to 100 nm and reducing time-to-climb, as well as allowing higher airspeeds and block speeds.