Cessna Aircraft (Chalet 13), a division of Textron Aviation, announced a 10-aircraft order for float-equipped Grand Caravan EXs yesterday at ABACE 2014 from Beijing-based Reignwood Group for tourism services in China. The company agreed to acquire the amphibian turboprop singles through the Cessna-AVIC Shijiazhuang facility, which has been assembling Cessna Caravans for the Chinese market since late last year.
Global Jet’s fleet in China has grown with the addition of three more jets this year, and the company’s Asia-based fleet now numbers five aircraft. The Geneva-headquartered private jet company’s worldwide fleet of privately operated and charter aircraft has now reached 67.
Safran Turbomeca and Avic Dong’an announced on March 26 an initial order for 120 WZ16/Ardiden 3C turboshaft engines that will power the Avic AC352 helicopter, the Chinese version of the Airbus Helicopters EC175. Certification of the engine by Chinese aviation authorities is expected at the end of 2015. Safran Turbomeca and Avic Dong’an launched the joint project to develop, produce and support the engine in 2008. Based on the success of this cross-border partnership, the two companies also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch a new project for commercial jet engines.
FlightSafety International technician training programs for Pratt & Whitney Canada engines have been moved from Beijing to Haikou, and will be provided at the new location by FlightSafety-trained instructors working for Lufthansa HNA Technical Training. FlightSafety is also providing all courseware and training engines for the program, which initially includes theory and practical training on the PT6A and PW100 series engines.
JetNet, the U.S. aircraft fleet analysis company, is here at ABACE (Booth P519) demonstrating the updated version of its Evolution Marketplace product. The update includes a new data export module and new folder management feature, as well as new user analytic functions (so users can gauge how often their aircraft are being viewed) and account administrator tools.
A contract from a Hong Kong-based owner of a Bombardier Challenger 850 has given Flying Colours Corp. the opportunity to develop its first cabin interior entirely made from carbon fiber. The aircraft was delivered after 16 weeks of work just before this year’s ABACE show, where the Canada-based maintenance, completions and refurbishment specialist is exhibiting (Booth H606).
Textron closed its $1.4 billion acquisition of Beechcraft on March 14, bringing together Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft to form Textron Aviation. Scott Ernest, Cessna’s president and CEO since 2011, was tapped to lead Textron Aviation as CEO. Meanwhile, Bill Boisture, Beechcraft’s chairman and CEO since 2009, was excluded from the Textron Aviation senior leadership team and “is moving on to new opportunities,” a Textron spokesman told AIN.
Airbus is here at ABACE highlighting the cabin features of its ACJ319, which the OEM feels is particularly well suited to Asian needs. Approximately 25 ACJs (the ACJ319 being only one of the models Airbus is offering as a business jet) are based in the Asia Pacific region.
The People’s Republic of China government has done much to make China more “executive aviation friendly,” according to Embraer Executive Jets. But obstacles remain to business aviation growth, said the Brazilian manufacturer.
Airbus Helicopters is making its public debut in China this week for the first time since the company formerly known as Eurocopter was renamed as part of a wider restructuring that has seen other parts of its EADS parent group channel the marketing power of the Airbus brand. Airbus airliners have sold well here in the People’s Republic, but then so have the “Eurocopter” rotorcraft, which still lay a strong claim to being the market leader in China.