The 50th anniversary yesterday of the maiden flight of the first Learjet–the Model 23, on Oct. 7, 1963–begged to be celebrated, and Bombardier obliged with gusto, holding two events at its main assembly facility in Wichita over the weekend. Invited were current and former employees and their families, several special guests and owners and operators who brought examples of almost every Learjet ever produced.
News and issues relating to business, corporate and private aviation, primarily regarding turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters. Subjects include aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
Just-released results from a comprehensive reader’s choice survey conducted by AIN sister publication Business Jet Traveler confirm that, contrary to what the general public seems to believe, many who fly privately do so primarily not to enjoy luxury but to enhance their efficiency.
Hartzell Propeller’s “advanced swept airfoil” composite five-blade propeller for the Socata TBM 700/850 has received STC approval from both the FAA and EASA. The new design, specifically engineered for the TBM turboprop single, delivers faster takeoff acceleration, higher cruise speeds and better climb, as well as less noise, it said. According to Hartzell, the new propeller provides for a 100-feet-per-minute faster climb rate, while cruise is two knots faster than with the current four-blade propeller.
Actor and general aviation pilot Harrison Ford will receive NBAA’s Al Ueltschi Award for Humanitarian Leadership during the opening session of the association’s annual convention in Las Vegas on October 22. “In addition to his extensive work as an outspoken champion for general aviation, including numerous appearances before Congress, Ford also regularly flies missions in support of humanitarian and philanthropic causes,” NBAA said. “For example, Ford has participated in the Cessna Citation Special Olympics Airlift.
Embraer Executive Jets will hold four more Embraer Executive Operator Conferences (EEOCs) over the coming month, in addition to one held for the Legacy 600/650 on Tuesday in Jakarta. Today in Bangalore, Embraer is holding an EEOC for the Phenom 100 and 300. Next Monday and Tuesday it will hold conferences for the Legacy 600/650 and Lineage 1000 in Dubai, and it will repeat this EEOC for these three jets on October 10 and 11 in Hong Kong. Finally, the EEOC North America will be held in Los Cabos, Mexico, for the Phenom 100 and 300 from November 4 to 6.
VLJ activity has rebounded strongly in Europe, at the expense of traditional light jets such as Citations and Learjets, according to speakers at the annual Business Aircraft Europe event, held at London Biggin Hill Airport on September 11 and 12. The event grew out of Light Jets Europe, which started in 2007 but was renamed after the VLJ (very light jet) sector nosedived with much of the rest of the industry when the global financial crisis hit five years ago.
During day two of the U.S. government shutdown, 15,000 FAA employees were still off the job on furlough and the business aviation community appears to have found the early impact of the closure to be greater than anticipated with disruption to several important FAA functions that were not impacted by previous Federal government shutdowns.
Hangar8 expects to open a new FBO on Jeresy, one of the Channel Islands, in early 2015. According to the UK-based group’s CEO, Dustin Dryden, the year-long construction project is slated to begin in the offshore tax shelter by the start of next year. Dryden indicated that Hangar8 is exploring plans to expand further into the FBO sector. “We see this as a way to improve the facilities and the service we receive ourselves [as an aircraft operator] and we may buy our way into existing [ground handling] markets where established skills and facilities are available,” he explained.
For the first time since the used jet market began to unravel, inventory sits below the level of October 2008. Year-over-year for the past four years, more inventory has been departing the market than has been arriving onto the market and this year could prove a continuation of that trend, with inventory already below last year’s 12-month moving average as the market enters what is historically the most active quarter for aircraft sales.
FltPlan.com said that there have been no glitches with general aviation pilots using its new pre-departure clearance (PDC) delivery system, which was rolled out in May, despite early concerns they would have difficulty interpreting PDCs. “There haven’t been any instances of pilot deviations based on general aviation pilots using our system,” said FltPlan.com president Ken Wilson.