As the final E-2C Hawkeye 2000 proceeds down the Northrop Grumman production line at St. Augustine, Florida, the company is preparing to fly the first example of its replacement–the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. The first of two system development and demonstration (SDD) aircraft was rolled out at the plant on April 30 and is being checked out on the ground prior to a first flight in late summer.
PrivateSky Aviation Services, Inc. (www. privatesky.net) of Fort Myers, Fla., has enhanced its NDT capability with the addition of a ComScan non-destructive testing scanning machine. The company is an FAA-certified Part 145 repair station specializing in Gulfstream IIs, IIIs, IVs and Vs.
Dallas-based Business Jet Technologies is teaming with Shadin and AeroMech to develop an RVSM equipment package for Gulfstream IIs and IIIs. The package, said a spokesman, can be installed for about $175,000 at the company’s Tulsa, Okla. maintenance shop with approximate downtime of five to seven days. Gulfstream owners can purchase the kit, tentatively priced at $150,000, for installation locally.
LaJolla, Calif.-based Stage III Technologies, which in December received an STC for its Stage 3 hush kit for the Gulfstream IISP, expects to receive by the end of summer certification for installation of its kit on the GIII, GIIB and GII, including Stage 1 GIIs. Unlike the already certified systems offered by Really Quiet and Quiet Technology Aerospace, the Stage III system has no moving parts.
In the fourth quarter of last year, Gulfstream Aerospace reported receiving orders for 34 aircraft, the largest number it has ever received in a three-month period. Saying, “We entered 2004 with an improving economic outlook for business aviation,” the company claims it has already sold out nearly 70 percent of this year’s planned production, adding that new customers can’t get a delivered Gulfstream until next year.
When is a Gulfstream II or III not a Stage 2 aircraft? When it gets a Stage 3 hush kit. Last month, Miami-based Quiet Technology Aerospace delivered its 11th converted Gulfstream since its Stage 3 hush kit received certification a year ago this month. The latest two airplanes were GIIIs owned by charter operator C&S Aviation of Dallas.
Stage III Technologies, which has been developing a Stage 3 hush kit for Gulfstream IIs and IIIs for more than five years, has received an STC for the Gulfstream IISP (the GII special performance model equipped with winglets). The La Jolla, Calif. company expects by May 1 to have STCs for the entire GII and GIII series. The Stage III system has no moving parts and adds no more than 20 pounds to the aircraft empty weight.
Demonstrating that Boeing and Airbus aren’t the only bitter rivals in the aerospace schoolyard, Bombardier yesterday issued a public challenge to Gulfstream by proposing the two commit to the idea of holding a race.
Competition to supply the United Arab Emirates with an airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system is becoming intense as next year’s selection date nears, and Northrop Grumman is highlighting the benefits of its E-2C Hawkeye contender. With more than 100 examples in service worldwide, the aircraft has notched some 26 years of service, which some might consider suggests that the E-2 is an aging design.
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Gulfstream’s service center at London Luton Airport is one of 12 factory support facilities, but it is currently unique in being the only one on soil foreign to the Savannah, Ga.-based OEM. It is also one of the most recent additions to the stable, Gulfstream having acquired a lease on it from Signature in April 2003.