Russia’s Ministry of Defense has issued a contract for the modernization of the Navy’s fleet of Ilyushin Il-38 maritime patrol aircraft. The Novella mission system will be installed in an unspecified but “large” number of aircraft serving in the Northern Fleet, making them Il-38Ns. Of the 59 aircraft produced between 1967 and 1972, some 18 are currently in operation. The work was initially planned for the Ministry of Defence’s aircraft repair plant No. 20 at Pushkino, but instead the MoD has contracted UAC’s Ilyushin and Myasishchev to undertake it at the Zhukovsky airbase near Moscow.
Jet Aviation Basel signed an agreement at EBACE with Custom Control Concepts (Booth 385) of Kent, Washington, to become the company’s exclusive authorized service center in Europe. Custom Control Concepts provides custom inflight entertainment equipment, lighting and cabin management systems to high-end jets and heads-of-state aircraft.
Eclipse Aerospace has arrived with an aircraft on static display for the first time at EBACE. The manufacturer is represented by its official European distributor, UK-based Aeris Aviation (based at Branscombe Airfield in Devon), which is offering demo flights in the Eclipse 500 very light jet during the show.
During an EBACE interview, Daher-Socata (Booth 1643) airplane division senior v-p Nicolas Chabbert told AIN that none of the company’s design engineers is currently working on its new twin project (NTX) that it has been considering since 2008. “The NTX project is in standby mode,” he said. At least, the Tarbes, France-based manufacturer of the single-engine TBM 850 turboprop knows where its main competitors stand. Pilatus has just unveiled a light twinjet, the PC-24, and Beechcraft now offers a turboprop-only lineup.
Bombardier has selected Lufthansa Technik’s nice HD cabin management and in-flight entertainment system for its upgraded Challenger 350, thus adding audio and video on-demand distribution to personal devices.
Lufthansa Technik said that its nice HD system has a flexible, open IP architecture, based on a wired and wireless broadband Ethernet network. The bottom line in the Challenger 350 will be that each passenger can watch individually chosen movies on an Apple, Android or Windows 8 device and also push content from the device to an embedded display.
According to charter broker Air Partner, Conklin & de Decker released research during EBACE 2013 indicating that the use of charter jet cards is on the rise in Europe. The report assesses the jet card products offered by NetJets Europe (Booth 7011) and Air Partner across six key criteria: accessible service areas; notice period; aircraft choice; pricing; flexibility; and quality assurance, service and safety.
Inflight Executive Jet Centre at Stansted Airport in London has appointed Steve Grimes as its new managing director. Grimes is assigned the mission of expanding business for Inflight’s FBO and its maintenance shop.
“I am looking forward to growing the business in both areas,” said Grimes, “which could mean expanding with new locations for both operations and maintenance.” Inflight also said its growth strategy includes expanding into aircraft completions and interior refurbishment.
Daher-Socata’s NTX project, a new twin the company has been considering since 2008, “is in standby mode,” airplane division senior v-p Nicolas Chabbert told AIN this week at EBACE.
AIN understands that Daher-Socata has considered both a twin turboprop and a twinjet under the NTX project banner. Without referring specifically to one option or the other, Chabbert said Daher-Socata is not excluding any possibility. However, the company has already ruled out resurrecting the Grob SPn program after some in-depth evaluations, including flight tests of the SPn prototype.
“The HondaJet program is steadily progressing toward certification and first delivery,” Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimasa Fujino said this week at EBACE. As previously reported, FAA type certification of the light jet has been delayed by a year to late next year, primarily due to delays in certifying its GE Honda Aero HF120 engines. EASA certification is scheduled to follow in mid-2015.
Fractional provider Bombardier Flexjet reported an 83-percent rise in new business growth in the first quarter versus a year ago. During this period, its fractional sales reportedly climbed by 108 percent, while new jet card sales rose by 48 percent. During the Easter travel weekend, Flexjet recorded flying hours at levels not seen since the height of the market in 2007. As a result, Flexjet said it is currently hiring pilots to satisfy the increasing demand.