This month Bombardier commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Learjet’s first flight even as the company struggles to launch a larger new flagship, the Model 85, and switch to composite airframe construction. Since 1963, Learjet has become one of the world’s most iconic brands, often generically misused to describe any make/model of private jet, and a conspicuous sign of affluence.
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Aircraft
News and issues relating to business, aircraft, primarily turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters.
Business aviation services group Comlux is expanding its aircraft completions activity to include widebody VIP aircraft like the Boeing 747 and Airbus A330. The strategic move was confirmed by the company’s board last month and comes at a time when its Indianapolis, Ind.-based Comlux America maintenance and interiors division is seeing a declining backlog of new green Boeing Business Jets and Airbus Corporate Jets.
Reno, Nev.-based Aerion is releasing results from recent flight tests of a natural laminar flow (NLF) wing test article this week here in Las Vegas, while the company continues to work to have its supersonic business jet enter service in 2020. The goal of these tests was to measure “real-world robustness” of supersonic NLF, which is a key technology for the Aerion SSBJ, in regards to surface quality and manufacturing tolerances.
Cessna Aircraft painted a picture of its mixed fortunes at its NBAA press conference yesterday, with CEO Scott Ernest saying the company was making good progress on its marquis development programs–the new Citation Latitude and Longitude–while acknowledging problems with single-engine piston products, and continuing quarterly financial losses.
Flexjet, which will soon be owned by Directional Aviation Capital, doubled its firm order for Learjet 85s yesterday at NBAA 2013. This latest transaction puts the Flexjet order at 115 firm aircraft from Bombardier (Booth No. N5731)– including 60 Learjet 85s–and options for 150 more. If all of the options are exercised, this brings the order value total to $5.6 billion
Many of the usual suppliers for Dassault aircraft have been selected for the 5X, although Héroux-Devtek will be the landing gear supplier (Messier Dowty provides the 7X gear). The nosegear will have a “dual-chamber, for comfort.”
Hamilton Sundstrand, a United Technologies company, is providing the electrically started APU (“easy start, all the time”), with Thales AES supplying the new starter-generator system.
“We have worked a lot to define the volume and to look at how the 7X is used for long flights, to find the most comfortable and efficient way to use [the new 5X],” said Olivier Villa, Dassault senior v-p for civil aircraft.
The cabin volume of the 5X is 1,770 cu ft compared to 1,550 cu ft on the 7X. The unfinished cabin interior height is 78 inches, which is four inches more than the 7X/900LX, and the maximum width is increased by 10 inches.
Dassault Aviation, the French business aircraft and fighter manufacturer, launched its all-new Falcon 5X yesterday here at NBAA. A twin-engine, Mach 0.8, fly-by-wire business jet powered by Snecma’s new Silvercrest engine, the 5X is scheduled to fly before mid-2015, with certification and entry into service following in the first half of 2017.
Boeing Business Jets (BBJ, Booth No. 2304, Static) yesterday revealed more details about its line of fuel-efficient and longer-range BBJ Max single-aisle bizliners here at the NBAA show, while also announcing a new “Split Scimitar” winglet retrofit for existing BBJs, in cooperation with Aviation Partners.
After years of trying, Airbus (Booth No. C11606) has cracked the U.S. VVIP charter market with the first sale of an ACJ318 here, which Airbus believes will significantly increase the visibility of Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) in the U.S. The aircraft will be based at Jet Aviation Flight Services in Van Nuys, Calif., one of the busiest general aviation airports in the world, where it will be operated for an undisclosed owner and for Part 135 charter.