This month Bombardier commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Learjet’s first flight even as the company struggles to launch a larger new flagship, the Model 85, and switch to composite airframe construction. Since 1963, Learjet has become one of the world’s most iconic brands, often generically misused to describe any make/model of private jet, and a conspicuous sign of affluence.
Flexjet, which will soon be owned by Directional Aviation Capital, doubled its firm order for Learjet 85s yesterday at NBAA 2013. This latest transaction puts the Flexjet order at 115 firm aircraft from Bombardier (Booth No. N5731)– including 60 Learjet 85s–and options for 150 more. If all of the options are exercised, this brings the order value total to $5.6 billion
Embraer Executive Jets is making a splash here in Las Vegas, having brought its entire industry-spanning product line to the static display, including its new Legacy 500, which is making its first North American show appearance, and the Lineage 1000E extended-range version of its fleet flagship, which is sporting the manufacturer’s new branded paint scheme.
Dassault Aviation, the French business aircraft and fighter manufacturer, launched its all-new Falcon 5X yesterday here at NBAA. A twin-engine, Mach 0.8, fly-by-wire business jet powered by Snecma’s new Silvercrest engine, the 5X is scheduled to fly before mid-2015, with certification and entry into service following in the first half of 2017.
After years of trying, Airbus (Booth No. C11606) has cracked the U.S. VVIP charter market with the first sale of an ACJ318 here, which Airbus believes will significantly increase the visibility of Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) in the U.S. The aircraft will be based at Jet Aviation Flight Services in Van Nuys, Calif., one of the busiest general aviation airports in the world, where it will be operated for an undisclosed owner and for Part 135 charter.
After years of trying, Airbus has cracked the U.S. VVIP charter market with the first sale of an ACJ318 today at the NBAA Convention. Airbus believes the sale will significantly increase the visibility of Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) in the U.S. The aircraft will be based at Jet Aviation Flight Services in Van Nuys, Calif., where it will be operated for an undisclosed owner and for Part 135 charter. It will be placed on Jet Aviation’s operating certificate for charter late this year or early next year.
Embraer Executive Jets announced today at the NBAA Convention that actor Jackie Chan is the launch customer of the Legacy 500 in China, with scheduled delivery for 2015. The fly-by-wire, midsize Legacy 500 is expected to be FAA certified in mid-2014. Chan became the first customer of the Embraer Legacy 650 in China and is also Embraer Executive Jets’ brand ambassador. “My Legacy 650 is perfect for long trips,” said Chan. “The Legacy 500 is futuristic and I’m anxious to fly in it.”
Records are made to be broken and the Gulfstream G650 did just that on July 1-2 this year, Gulfstream Aerospace revealed yesterday here at NBAA 2013. Flying westbound around the world, the G650 made the trip in 41 hours, 7 minutes, making three fuel stops–with an average speed for the 20,310-nautical mile trip of 568.5 miles per hour (915 kilometers per hour), which broke the record for a non-supersonic aircraft.
“Mr. Aviation” is a big title but Dwane Wallace, who steered Cessna Aircraft (Booth No. C8843) through 40 years of boom and bust and into the age of the modern business jet, deserves the moniker even more after being enshrined into the National Aviation Hall of Fame (based in Dayton, Ohio) on October 4.