Total general aviation (GA) airplane billings in the first half of the year reached $10.4 billion, an increase of more than 25 percent over the same period last year, according to statistics released yesterday by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). This is the first time since the first half of 2008 that six-month industry revenues have exceeded $10 billion.
Flightcraft’s roots go deep into the local community. The company began serving the lumber industry in the late 1940s when Si King, Charlie Miller and a couple of lumber companies, including Weyerhaeuser, got together to support the transportation needs of the lumber industry.
Fifty years after delivering its very first engine to Beechcraft, Pratt & Whitney Canada celebrated another milestone yesterday by delivering to Beechcraft at EAA AirVenture the 80,000th PT6 turboprop, in this case a -60A variant that powers the King Air 350i. “As we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of this iconic engine,” said P&WC president John Saabas, “we are proud to share this important moment with Beechcraft, which was the first customer to select the PT6.” The PT6 has since become the most popular engine in all aviation market segments.
Gulfstream, Mitsubishi top survey results again
Gulfstream, the longtime leader in the AIN Product Support Survey, scored higher this year with an overall average 8.3 rating for its large-cabin jets (newer and older aircraft), although after a large jump last year, Embraer is creeping even closer to the top spot, up 0.1 to 8.2 from last year’s 8.1.
Beechcraft Global Customer Support named Edwards Jet Center in Billings, Mont., an authorized service center for the King Air, Baron and Bonanza.
Founded in 1947, Edwards Jet Center is an FBO, FAA-certified repair station and FAA Part 135 on-demand charter operator. The MRO employs 18 full-time A&P mechanics with capabilities for piston, turboprop and jet aircraft.
Beechcraft said it recorded a 75-percent increase in second-quarter aircraft deliveries over the same period a year ago. The company delivered 56 commercial and military aircraft, compared with 32 in last year’s second quarter. This year’s second-quarter total includes 12 King Air 350i/ERs, seven King Air 250s and five King Air C90GTxs. In the first half of this year, Beechcraft delivered 115 airplanes versus 69 in the same period last year, for an increase of 66 percent.
Brazilian aviation services provider Lìder Aviação is the new “exclusive representative” in Brazil for Bombardier Aerospace. Lìder, based in Belo Horizonte, will be responsible for sales of the Canadian OEM’s Globals, Challengers and Learjets. The two companies have a long history together. Lìder was the company that introduced the Learjet in Brazil in 1968. It is also the Brazilian representative of U.S.-based Beechcraft for the company’s turboprop and piston aircraft.
Ontario, Canada-based Flying Colours has been appointed a Raisbeck Engineering authorized sales and installation center for the company’s King Air product line. Under the terms of the agreement, Flying Colours is able to offer King Air maintenance, refurbishments, modifications and paint work in addition to full completions.
Flying Colours has a long affiliation with Beechcraft dating back to the 1980s. Its team includes 18 licensed technicians who have been working on Beech products since the company’s founding more than 25 years ago.
The pilot escaped with minor injuries after his Beechcraft King Air 200 crashed on a four-lane road just short of Runway 16 at Chicago Executive Airport (KPWK), Wheeling, Ill., on June 26. No one on the ground was injured. The King Air narrowly missed striking a number of nearby apartment buildings and was substantially damaged when the right wing struck a tree. There was no fire.
Beechcraft has a long history of providing special-mission platforms for military intelligence and security programs, reaching back to the late 1950s. Today this business remains highly important to the company, based largely on the King Air family that has become a popular choice of platforms for special-mission duties. Now the company is broadening its portfolio by offering the smaller and cheaper Baron G58 as an ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) platform, and has already delivered the first example to a customer.