Gulfstream appears to be off to a good start in meeting its projection to deliver this year 72 or 73 “large aircraft” (G350s, G450s, G500s and G550s). According to Nicholas Chabraja, chairman and CEO of parent company General Dynamics, “We had orders for more aircraft, both in units and dollars, than we had in the year-ago quarter.” Gulfstream delivered 18 large aircraft in the first quarter compared with 14 in the same period last year.
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Aircraft
News and issues relating to business, aircraft, primarily turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters.
Despite lack of near-term availability, Cessna received orders for 111 Citations in the first quarter compared with 73 in the first quarter of last year. This quarter’s numbers include 41 aircraft from two fleet operators. “Nonetheless, the remaining orders for 70 aircraft were more than we had expected,” according to Lewis Campbell, chairman, president and CEO of Cessna parent Textron.
Mubadala Development, an investment company owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, has acquired 35 percent of Italy’s Piaggio Aero, manufacturer of the Avanti II turboprop twin. “The transaction is founded on a shared belief by the two parties that the business aviation segment will continue to expand significantly over the foreseeable future,” Piaggio officials said.
The Diamond D-Jet (S/N 001) single-engine very light jet flew for the first time on Tuesday afternoon from London International Airport, Ontario, home of Diamond’s North American division.
Manufacturers of very light jets had until early this month to respond to a U.S. Air Force VLJ-capability request for information (RFI). While the military branch hasn’t yet opened its wallet to actually buy any of the small jets, it wants to perform qualification evaluations of the various offerings by year-end. “The intent of the qual evals is to investigate VLJ aircraft characteristics for potential AF missions,” the RFI states.
Transport aircraft manufacturers, including business jet OEMs, will be required to develop operational limitations for all future Part 25 designs, under a far-ranging notice of proposed rulemaking intended to eliminate “widespread fatigue damage” (WFD) as aircraft age.
Cessna Aircraft has joined forces with the FAA and the Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association (RACCA) for a Cessna Caravan “educational and awareness campaign,” according to a spokesman for the OEM. The new coalition “will pool resources to enhance existing operational procedures in harsh environments, including operation in icing conditions,” proclaimed RACCA president Stan Bernstein, whose members fly the overwhelming majority of Caravans.
Reno start-up Aerion said yesterday that its board recently approved continued funding of the Aerion supersonic business jet through program launch, the point at which production design and prototype development would begin. “All of our activities to this point have shown that the aircraft is technically and economically viable,” claimed Aerion vice chairman Brian Barents.
“Overall, Raytheon Aircraft had the best quarter” in its history in terms of financial performance, said William Swanson, chairman and CEO of parent Raytheon Company. According to the company’s first quarter results released this morning, Raytheon Aircraft delivered 44 business jets and turboprops compared with 27 in the same period a year ago. In the quarter, the company booked orders for 45 turbine airplanes versus 34 last year.
A Falcon parts price guarantee program and a program to improve dispatch reliability are two of the latest efforts launched over the past year by Dassault as part of a multi-year plan to “become the undisputed leader in customer support in business aviation.” The programs were announced today on the eve of the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Geneva.