AeroSat, the Amherst, N.H. supplier of broadband satcom and direct-broadcast television antennas for airliners and business jets, announced last month that it has received an additional $14 million in investment funds, money that will be used for expansion of the company’s product line and production capacity. Funding was supplied by private equity firms CAI Managers, AeroEquity and PAR Capital Management.
Aviation International News » July 2008
Two more OEMs–Spectrum Aeronautical and Viking Air– have selected Honeywell’s Primus Apex avionics suite. Spectrum selected Apex for its S-40 Freedom midsize jet and Viking Air for the resurrected DHC-6-400 Twin Otter. This brings to four the number of airplanes that will feature the Primus Apex suite, the other two being Grob’s SPn and the new Pilatus PC-12 NG, which is the first Primus Apex-equipped airplane to enter service.
Cessna received FAA certification of the Citation XLS+ on June 2. New features of this upgraded version of the Excel/XLS series include Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics, fadec-controlled Pratt & Whitney Canada PW545C engines, seven-knot faster maximum cruise speed, extended nose contour and expanded seat widths. Deliveries of the $11.595 million XLS+ should begin by year-end.
Dassault added another wing-letted model to the company’s lineup, the Falcon 900LX, which will replace the Falcon 900EX following certification in the first half of 2010. Initial flight testing has demonstrated a drag reduction of up to 7 percent. Climb performance should improve by 10 percent, according to Dassault, and maximum range will climb to 4,800 nm.
Bombardier has chosen its facility in Querétaro, Mexico, to manufacture the composite structure for the Learjet 85. This facility, which began operations in 2006, already manufactures wiring harnesses and structural components for other Bombardier aircraft.
Engineers at Cessna are finishing architecture and layout planning for the Wichita OEM’s largest jet, the fly-by-wire Columbus, and the company revealed new details about vendors and facilities. The Columbus will be assembled at new facilities in Wichita, and Cessna plans to break ground on the factory later this year.
A proposal by the FAA to mandate that aircraft registrations expire every three years has elicited a mixed reaction from the industry, with lobby groups supporting the agency’s goal of improving the accuracy of the aircraft registry but raising concerns about the feasibility of the proposed method.
If the FAA’s crackdown on charter operational control has taught operators anything, it’s that the number of compliance items that a Part 135 certificate holder must monitor, manage and triple-check has exploded.
There’s that old saying, “It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good.” And if ever there was an ill wind, it’s the one that has been generated by the price of oil and its effect on the airlines. But that same wind is bringing new opportunities to business aviation, with the prospect of expanded operations and the likelihood of added airplanes to the industry’s fleet.
The infrastructure to support business aviation in Asia is improving, but U.S.- and Europe-based business jet operators and their flight support staff still face challenges.