The first production model of Cessna’s new Citation Sovereign completed its maiden flight last Wednesday, logging more than 2.5 hours in the Kansas sky. The flight included tests of its Garmin G5000 avionics with autothrottles, as well as the autopilot, engines and aircraft systems. The aircraft took off and landed at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, where Cessna’s main manufacturing facilities are located.
AINalerts » April 30, 2013
While pre-owned business aircraft inventories continue to drop from 2009 highs, the overall market remains mixed, according to data released yesterday by Amstat. “The data reflects the current fragmented nature of this market,” said Amstat executive vice president Tom Benson. “On a quarter-by-quarter basis, it is difficult to apply broad statements on performance across the market as a whole.”
President Obama nominated Charlotte, N.C. mayor Anthony Foxx yesterday to be the next Secretary of Transportation. He will succeed current Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who announced in January he would leave the post once a successor is chosen. Under Foxx, Charlotte has developed a facility connecting freight from the city to global ports, along with a third parallel runway at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.
AgustaWestland will open a second production line for the new AW169 medium-twin helicopter at its manufacturing facility in Philadelphia, the company announced today. The primary production line for the AW169 will remain at the company’s plant in Vergiate, Italy. Four examples of the 9,000-pound class helicopter are currently in flight-test, with certification expected next year.
In a last-ditch effort to stop the FAA’s furloughing of air traffic controllers to meet government-wide budget reductions, the House and Senate passed legislation late last week to transfer money from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund to pay controllers’ salaries and prevent the closure of some privately operated control towers. Congress quickly moved to relieve the FAA of its need to furlough controllers after just five days of prolonged flight delays at major airports last week.
Embraer delivered 12 business jets in the first quarter, one fewer than it did in the same period a year ago. While the number represented a slight dip, the firm order backlog increased to $13.3 billion by the end of the quarter, up from $12.5 billion in the previous quarter. The Brazilian OEM also noted that for the first quarter, revenues from its Embraer Executive Jets division jumped to $175.3 million this year from $151.7 million last year.
Aircell recently completed its acquisition of Airfone from LiveTV. The agreement includes LiveTV’s 1-MHz air-to-ground spectrum license, as well as the Airfone in-flight communications service, network infrastructure and back-office operational assets. To expand capabilities, Aircell’s Gogo in-flight Internet service will branch into Airfone’s frequencies, which are adjacent to those currently used by Gogo and Gogo Biz. To accommodate this expansion, the Airfone service will be permanently decommissioned on December 31.
UK-based Alison Price On Air has expanded and restructured its aviation catering, offering a new Brasserie-style menu to meet the needs of its international client base. The new selections are designed to be simple and convenient to pack and easy to serve, while retaining high quality. The menu features traditional Brasserie dishes, including Italian osso buco and scallop and crab macaroni. Alison Price On Air is also in talks with top restaurants in London to offer “branded” Russian and Nigerian meals.
To mark Learjet’s 50th anniversary, artist Princess Tarinan von Anhalt is using the engine thrust from a Bombardier Flexjet Learjet 40XR, in lieu of a paintbrush, to create new masterpieces today and tomorrow at Signature Flight Support in West Palm Beach, Fla. To create her latest artwork, von Anhalt is hurling paint into the engine exhaust–a force of approximately 3.5 tons–while standing 50 feet between the aircraft and the canvas.
Embraer Executive Jets’ Legacy 650 recently received type certification from Indonesia’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation, paving the way for customer Premiair to put the aircraft into service. With the approval, all in-production Embraer Executive Jets are now certified in this country. When Premiair takes delivery of two Legacy 650s it has on order, the Indonesian charter operator will have eight Embraer jets in its fleet.