Dornier’s twin-turboprop all-composite Seastar CD2 made its first appearance at the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wis., in July, the first stop in a tour of North America that included demo flights in Vancouver, Canada, and Seattle, culminating in a visit to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Monterey, Calif., in August. At Oshkosh, “The response was much greater than anticipated,” said Dornier Seaplane CEO Joe Walker.
The recession has dealt an enormous blow to the fractional share industry. Rapidly declining used-aircraft prices and fewer flying hours have affected the industry to the point that most fractional operators have shrunk during the past year, deferred new aircraft deliveries, cut staffing and explored new ways to keep flying. Business has been so bad at the fractionals that some pundits are questioning whether the business model is broken.
Cirrus Aircraft last month raised the price of the single-engine Vision Jet, a personal VLJ, to $1.39 million for existing position holders and to $1.55 million for new orders placed before December 31. The price increases to $1.72 million for orders placed after January 1. All prices are in 2009 dollars. When Cirrus started taking orders for the jet in June 2007, the target price was about $1 million.
Embraer has received ISA+39-degrees C certification for the E190 airliner from Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) and the FAA, the company announced yesterday. With the certification, the 100-seat jet can fly without operational restriction in airports where temperatures reach as high as 129 degrees F at sea level.
Embraer reinforced its partnership with Falcon Aviation Services (FAS), of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, by signing an agreement to extend FAS’s maintenance capabilities to the Lineage 1000 executive jet. FAS became an Embraer authorized service center in the Middle East in November 2008 when it was given responsibility for the entry-level Phenom 100, light Phenom 300 and super-midsize Legacy 600.
A pair of significant milestones underscores West Star Aviation’s continued growth in a depressed economy. The company is in the final stage of a planned service capabilities expansion and facilities consolidation at its Dallas Love Field (DAL) location. In addition, the company’s East Alton, Ill. (ALN) facility has been named a Piaggio Aero authorized service center.
Aspen Avionics in Albuquerque, N.M., introduced a helicopter version of its Evolution flight display system called the EFD1000H Pro Helicopter PFD. The $15,000 unit includes an LCD attitude indicator with airspeed and altitude tapes, altitude alerter and trend vector, plus a full electronic HSI with dual bearing pointers, moving map and flight plan overlays.
More than a year after it bought 80 percent of Sino Swearingen Aircraft, infused it with $150 million of new capital, and rebranded it Emivest Aerospace, the company’s Dubai-based owner, Emirates Investment and Development, may be on the verge of establishing a regular production schedule for the $7.25 million SJ30 light twinjet.
The Russian government has finally committed to production of the Sukhoi Su-35 combat aircraft, which features thrust-vectoring and e-scan radar. At the MAKS 2009 airshow at Zhukovsky airbase near Moscow this month, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed a contract worth $2.5 billion for 48 Su-35S models. They will be delivered to the Russian Air Force by 2015.
Although Cirrus Aircraft fielded a large display at EAA AirVenture last week in Oshkosh, Wis., notably missing from the Cirrus exhibit area and Cirrus’s press conference was cofounder and board chairman Alan Klapmeier. Now the Cirrus board of directors has decided not to renew Klapmeier’s contract and to seek a new chairman when his term expires at the end of this month.