Hawker Beechcraft late last month opened its new international sales headquarters at the Hawarden Airport, Broughton, UK. In an unusually poignant example of globalization, the opening means that Hawkers sold in the UK will have come full circle–from wings and fuselage by Airbus UK to final assembly and testing at the company’s Wichita headquarters and finally back to the UK to be sold.
Ask any copilot of a HUD-equipped airplane what a low-visibility approach looks like, and the answer will be the same–no different from any other airplane. But that’s not because the HUD doesn’t help. It’s because traditionally HUDs have been installed only on the captain’s side, and their optics require the user to be sitting in front of the screen.
Business aircraft continue to assume roles in the airline industry. EADS Sogerma Services of Toulouse, France, has begun converting the first of two Airbus A319s for new careers as “premium class” aircraft operated by Saudi Arabia’s National Air Services on scheduled and charter flights. The conversion includes heavy maintenance, a reconfiguration and refurbishment of the cabins and new exterior paint.
Midcoast Aviation recently announced its intention to move into the “narrowbody” cabin completion business, marked by groundbreaking on a 145,000-sq-ft hangar at its St. Louis Downtown Airport facility. The hangar is expected to open for business next summer and add at least 200 employees to Midcoast’s staff of 1,100.
Early figures show that most business aircraft manufacturers reported increased deliveries in the second quarter, with much optimism that the industry is now in a sustained recovery.
Some 15,000 well-wishers witnessed the first public appearance of the Boeing 787 in Everett, Wash., on Sunday (07/08/07, not coincidentally), an event broadcast live via satellite in nine languages and “potentially” reaching more than 100 million people.
Airbus CEO John Leahy confirmed at the Paris Air Show that the company has the first firm commitment for its giant A380 airliner for conversion to an executive/VIP role. Leahy declined, however, to reveal the name of the buyer, saying only that he was not American or European and the airplane would be for his personal use.
At the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in late May, a representative of Airbus expressed frustration at the difficulty in finding sufficient slots at independent completion and refurbishment centers to do executive cabin work at the same pace the company is producing airplanes.
The European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) is growing stronger. At the show’s inception in 2001 there might have been some who doubted the viability of an annual European business aviation show along the lines of the firmly established NBAA event in the U.S., but the 2007 edition, held May 22 through 24 in Geneva, weighed in as the biggest and best so far in the show’s seven-year history.
As a sign of possible things to come for business aviation, the European Commission and the FAA announced on Monday a joint initiative to reduce aircraft emissions and combat climate change.