GE Honda Aero Engines has announced that its 2,095-pound-thrust HF120 turbofan intended initially for the HondaJet is nearing completion of certification tests and is on track for delivery of the first entry into service engines before year-end. “We now have a line-of-sight for certification and we are gaining experience on the fleet,” said GE Honda Aero president Terry Sharp.
For Cessna Aircraft, this year is bringing the culmination of efforts that began during the economic downturn and now are bearing fruit. In 2013, the company (here at Booth 7091) is incorporating into production six new aircraft models and highlighting its six factory-owned service centers in Europe.
The wing and fuselage of the first production Citation M2 were mated this week at Cessna Aircraft’s facility in Wichita. Certification of the M2, an upgraded Citation CJ1 with Garmin G3000 avionics and more powerful Williams FJ44 engines, is expected later this year. Now that the wing mate is completed, the engine installation phase has started and will be followed by functional testing of the aircraft systems, including avionics, hydraulics and flight controls.
The first production model of Cessna’s new Citation Sovereign completed its maiden flight last Wednesday, logging more than 2.5 hours in the Kansas sky. The flight included tests of its Garmin G5000 avionics with autothrottles, as well as the autopilot, engines and aircraft systems. The aircraft took off and landed at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, where Cessna’s main manufacturing facilities are located.
Textron, parent company of Cessna Aircraft, held its first-quarter 2013 earnings call yesterday, and the news was not particularly uplifting for its Wichita-based business segment. Customers in the light jet market, who tend to be small business owners, continue to defer purchase decisions, “reflecting continued concerns about their financial outlook,” said Textron chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly. As a result, he continued, Cessna delivered 32 new jets in the first quarter, six fewer than the same quarter last year, “resulting in a segment loss in the quarter of $8 million.”
Cessna Aircraft rolled out the first production copy of the new Citation X yesterday at its Wichita manufacturing facility, to the applause of some 200 Cessna employees. The upgraded twinjet was first announced at the 2010 NBAA Convention.
Tamarack Aerospace received a contract this week for up to 10 CitationJet active winglet kits (a firm order for three with options on seven more) from Fort Myers, Fla.-based business aircraft broker Premier Jet Aviation. The kits, to be delivered next year, will be used as part of Premier Jet’s “CJ Plus” CitationJet refurbishment program.
Cessna Aircraft has started production of the Citation M2 at its Independence, Kan. facility, the company announced today. The front and aft cabin assemblies for the light business jet, which is a derivative of the out-of-production CJ1, are built at Cessna’s Wichita facility and then transported to Independence for final assembly and delivery. S/N 800, a demonstrator aircraft, is slated to roll off the assembly line in April.
Tamarack Aerospace has unveiled the first of what it promises will be a series of active winglet systems designed to relieve wing bending loads caused by winglets. The company’s active technology load alleviation system (Atlas) should be certified and available for installation on Cirrus SR22 G1 and G2 piston singles early next year, but Tamarack is also testing Atlas, which includes new winglets, on a Cessna CitationJet 525. Tamarack brought the Atlas-equipped CitationJet to the NBAA Convention in Orlando and gave demonstration rides during the show.
Sierra Industries and Clifford Development have formed a joint venture called NewJETz to develop a Williams International FJ44-4 engine retrofit program. The 3,600-pound-thrust engine retrofit will power legacy Cessna Citation 550 and 560 series jets, including the Citation V, Bravo, Ultra and Encore. The new modification is called eVolution, and NewJETz will also offer owners of these aircraft avionics and other upgrades.