The Learjet 85 is one step closer to beginning its flight-testing phase after the announcement yesterday by Bombardier that the FAA issued the jet’s first flight-test permit. Engineers have run flight test vehicle 1’s (FTV1) Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307Bs and completed low-speed taxi testing. Before the first flight, preparations will include finalizing “the configuration of the aircraft, more engine runs and high-speed taxi tests,” according to Bombardier.
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.
Business aircraft movements in Europe increased by 1.9 percent last month, marking the first time since 2008 that there has been year-over-year growth in the month of January, according to data from WingX Advance. Flight hours flown by business aircraft in Europe last month also rose by 4 percent, to 69,700 hours. It said January was also the first month since 2012 to record gains in both private and charter flights in Europe. This is the third consecutive month showing growth in private flights in the region, WingX noted.
Dassault Falcon recently delivered its first Falcon 2000S in Brazil following certification by ANAC, Brazil’s aviation regulatory authority, late last year. “The Falcon 2000S is a terrific option for customers in Brazil and elsewhere in South America,” said Dassault Falcon president and CEO John Rosanvallon.
Business aircraft activity maintained its positive momentum into the new year, thanks to a robust Part 135 segment, according to the latest TraqPak data from aviation services company Argus. Last month, flying increased 1.8 percent from the same period a year ago, the company said.
A pair of STCs announced late last week by Eclipse Aerospace add anti-skid braking and autothrottle capabilities to new-build Eclipse 550s. The approvals also bring the company closer to first customer deliveries of the very light jets.
Epic Aircraft said it remains on schedule to certify its E1000 all-composite turboprop single by the middle of next year. Deliveries of the $2.75 million airplane are slated to begin in the second half of next year.
The E1000 will be a certified version of the kit-built Epic LT with a 1,200-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-67A engine and Garmin G1000 glass cockpit. Preliminary performance and specifications include a 325-knot top cruise speed, 1,600-nm range and a 34,000-foot ceiling.
The Challenger 350 is on track to enter service in the middle of this year, Bombardier Aerospace confirmed on Thursday. As of the end of last year, 75 percent of the flight-test program had been completed and the new interior was certified on December 17, the company said.
Quest Aircraft received FAA approval for a 565-pound maximum landing weight increase for its Kodiak to 7,255 pounds, the same as the turboprop single’s mtow. This allows operators to carry extra fuel–“a significant benefit for those flying to remote regions,” said Quest president and CEO Sam Hill. The upgrade is standard on all new-production Kodiaks and an option for in-service aircraft without requiring any structural upgrade.
Bombardier Aerospace’s business jet division accounted for the bulk of net orders and deliveries last year at the company, according to full-year 2013 results released today. The company delivered 238 aircraft (180 business jets and 58 airliners) last year, up from 233 (179 business jets and 54 airliners) in 2012, boosting revenues by 11 percent, to $18.2 billion, and profits by $87 million, to $893 million. It expects to deliver 280 aircraft–200 business jets and 80 airliners–this year.
According to J.P.Morgan North America Equity Research’s latest monthly business jet report, data continues to show a “tentatively firming” market and the analyst believes that “2014 will be a key inflection year for business jet demand.” Its most recent data shows a continuation of recent trends: declining used inventory and growth of flight operations–both of which bode well for new aircraft demand–but declining pre-owned pricing.