Dassault Aviation launched its long-awaited, all-new Falcon 5X at last month’s NBAA show in Las Vegas. The long-range, advanced technology model should provoke strong interest among the growing Middle Eastern jet set.
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Aircraft
News and issues relating to business, aircraft, primarily turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters.
Abu Dhabi’s Royal Jet, the commercial luxury private-jet operator, is to issue an RFP for the replacement of six Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) aircraft within the next two months, as it seeks to expand regional charter operations in the Middle East, Africa and beyond.
The crash of a King Air C90 near Springdale, Ark., on Friday killed both the 72-year-old pilot and his passenger. The Part 91 flight was en route in VMC from Pine Bluff to Bentonville, Ark., when the pilot asked ATC for a closer airport because he was low on fuel. The controller advised the pilot he was four miles from Springdale (Ark.) Airport. After reporting to Springdale that he had the airport in sight and restating he was low on fuel, he was cleared to land. A few seconds later, the pilot reported he was not going to make the airport.
After recently concluding all high-speed certification flights, the FAA has validated the Mach 0.935 maximum operating speed for Cessna’s new Citation X.
Dassault took the wraps off the airplane known thus far as “SMS” at the NBAA Convention late last month. The Falcon 5X is a Mach 0.8 fly-by-wire twinjet powered by Snecma Silvercrest turbofans, and it is decidedly not the super-midsize that its project initials suggested.
In fact, SMS could have stood for smokescreen. The 5X, slated to fly before mid-2015 and enter service in the first half of 2017, is bigger inside than the company’s current flagship, the Falcon 7X.
It still seems unusual to climb into the cockpit of a sophisticated modern jet like Bombardier’s rejuvenated Learjet 75 and find a Garmin suite instead of a panel full of Honeywell or Rockwell Collins avionics. It isn’t hard to figure out; there are no flight management system control display units in the Learjet 75’s pedestal. Indeed, it seems that the concept of the standalone FMS has been banished from the jet’s Bombardier Vision (Garmin G5000) flight deck.
There were two major developments in the business turboprop sector this year and neither involved new aircraft. However, they did show where potentially the next growth area is for the turboprop market: downstream. Turboprops historically have been a useful vehicle for introducing new customers into the corporate aircraft market, provided operators can maintain price discipline. If not, bad things can happen. Case in point: after several years of public struggle, Piaggio Avanti fractional provider Avantair ceased operations in June.
Stuart Woods, a best-selling author, is the launch customer for the Cessna Citation M2, Cessna Aircraft announced at NBAA 2013.
Brazil’s Embraer announced several “product enhancements” to its midsize Legacy 500 and “mid-light” Legacy 450 business jets at last week’s NBAA 2013 Convention in Las Vegas.
With the first prototype of the Legacy 450 due to fly by year-end, the manufacturer revealed that it has extended the fuselage of the jet by more than half a foot to provide six additional inches of cabin length. Embraer has also increased the range specification of the Legacy 450 from 2,300 to 2,500 nm with four passengers by increasing the aircraft’s full-fuel capacity.
Drake Group, an engineering services provider, recently received STC approval for deploying parachutists and cargo under parachute from a Gulfstream GV/G550. In addition to single and tandem sport parachuting, the STC allows the delivery of emergency medical supplies, survival equipment and specialized critical replacement components by static line at great distances from the aircraft departure point. The STC, a multiple certificate applicable to any GV or G550, requires no changes to the aircraft and consists of copyrighted AFM supplements.