During Bombardier’s 2013 financial results conference call this morning, president and CEO Pierre Beaudoin provided some insight into the delays affecting the all-composite Learjet 85 program, which had originally been slated to enter service in 2013. Last year, Bombardier revised this to projected first flight of the first flight test vehicle, FTV1, by year-end 2013, though the midsize jet still has yet to fly. Certification and entry into service were also moved to mid-2014 earlier last year, but that timeline will undoubtedly have to be once again pushed farther right into the future.
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.
Cessna Aircraft is set to deliver the first Citation CJ4 going to a Japanese customer. The Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer won a contract for three CJ4s from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) through its special-mission affiliate, Kanematsu of Japan. The twinjets will be equipped with flight inspection systems and as part of the JCAB’s mission will confirm the accuracy of air navigation capabilities, air routes and ATC facilities in Japan.
This week Beechcraft posted its fourth-quarter and end-of-year results, showing the significant increases that brought 2013 to a successful close. The figures were welcome to the company as it ended its first year of trading as a stand-alone entity, prior to the expected acquisition by Textron that is due to be completed in the first half of this year. The Wichita, Kansas-based company delivered 205 civil aircraft in 2013, compared with 125 in 2012. Adding to 2013’s figure was the delivery of 34 military trainer aircraft.
After falling for five consecutive years, business jet deliveries this year are poised to rise for the first time since 2008, according to a forecast released by JetNet iQ on Friday at the NBAA Aircraft Registration, Finance and Legal Conference in St. Petersburg, Fla. The prognostication calls for 685 jets worth $21 billion to be shipped this year, compared with an estimated 644 jets worth $20.5 billion delivered last year.
Cessna Aircraft announced today that the Citation fleet passed the 30 million flight-hour mark, which the Wichita aircraft manufacturer said is “an accomplishment unmatched in general aviation.” Since the Citation 500 entered service in 1972, Cessna has delivered more than 6,600 Citations to customers around the world.
King Air deliveries climbed 52 percent last year, according to fourth-quarter and year-end 2013 delivery data released yesterday by Beechcraft. Shipments of the three in-production King Airs–the C90GTx, 250 and 350i/ER–rose from 89 in 2012 to 135 last year.
Business aviation flight activity had a strong finish last year, but the gains seen in the second half weren’t enough to overcome a slow start in the first half, according to TraqPak data from aviation services company Argus. Overall, activity for the year decreased by 0.3 percent from 2012.
Flying fell 1.7 percent year-over-year in the first six months, but the second half was up 1 percent, Argus noted. Activity jumped in the fourth quarter, as flying surged 1.6 percent from the previous year.
Quest Aircraft appointed Quest Aircraft do Brasil as the Kodiak dealer for Brazil. The São José dos Campos-based dealer accepted the first Kodiak to be based in Brazil last week, and the turboprop single is now on a demonstration tour in the Latin American country. Quest has delivered five Kodiaks to customers in Latin America over the past two months, so it is optimistic about the aircraft’s prospects in Brazil. The Kodiak received Brazilian certification in 2012 and is certified in 16 countries, with several additional certifications “imminent.”
Gulfstream Aerospace’s G650 added another city-pair record to its résumé, flying the 5,905-nm route from Honolulu to Singapore for the 2014 Singapore Airshow on Friday in 14 hours 6 minutes. The aircraft, which carried two passengers and five crewmembers, averaged Mach 0.85 over the record-breaking flight, despite flying against headwinds exceeding 100 knots for more than half the flight. Once the U.S. National Aeronautic Association validates the new record, the flagship Gulfstream will have amassed 39 such milestones.
Aircraft sales and support company Hawker Pacific (Booth H65, Chalet CD31/32) is celebrating the two-year anniversary of the opening of its new facility at Seletar Aerospace Park here this week. It is showcasing its portfolio of services and presenting several aircraft on static display.
“We have a busy program of events, a fantastic line-up of aircraft and participation of our key partners and principals,” promised Tony Jones, COO Hawker Pacific Asia. “We will also be making a number of exciting announcements,” he added.