There are many new jets and a few new turboprops on designers’ drawing boards, but the volume of new aircraft making it to the entry-into-service point remains fairly low, considering all the projects in the hopper. Last year, only two new clean-sheet designs–the Quest Kodiak and Falcon 7X–joined the ranks of aircraft certified and beginning deliveries.
Judging by the mood at last month’s NBAA Convention in Las Vegas, the good old days are most assuredly back for the business aviation industry. A record number of companies were shoehorned into more than a million square feet of exhibition space at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and there was a seemingly endless line of aircraft at nearby Henderson Executive Airport.
The forecasts released last month at the NBAA Convention from turbine-engine manufacturers Honeywell and Rolls-Royce and market research firm Inflight Management Development Centre (IMDC) agree: the business jet market has turned the corner. Honeywell and Rolls-Royce project delivery of between 500 and 550 business jets this year, on par with, or slightly above, last year’s deliveries.
Wichita-based Hawker Beechcraft reported third-quarter pre-tax profits of $62.1 million and quarterly aircraft sales of $871 million, resulting in a backlog of $5.2 billion. The company delivered 75 business airplanes (10 Hawker 850XPs, eight 900XPs, 12 400XPs, five Premier IAs and 40 King Airs) in the third quarter, up slightly from the 72 business turboprops and jets shipped in the same period last year.
With the Raytheon Hawker Horizon and Bombardier Continental making their first flights within three days of each other in Wichita last month, development is virtually neck and neck for these two highly competitive super-midsize business jets.
Wichita-based Hawker Beechcraft yesterday reported third-quarter pre-tax profits of $62.1 million and quarterly aircraft sales of $871 million, resulting in a backlog of $5.2 billion. The company delivered 75 business airplanes (10 Hawker 850XPs, eight 900XPs, 12 400XPs, five Premier IAs and 40 King Airs) in the third quarter, up slightly from the 72 business turboprops and jets shipped in the year-ago period.
Raytheon Aircraft’s Hawker Horizon super-midsize business jet is beating projections–performance projections, that is. Schedule projections continue to be something else, as the new jet moves slowly but surely closer to certification, now planned for the middle of next year, with initial deliveries targeted to start by the end of the year.
Safe Flight Instrument’s AutoPower autothrottle system will be made available to Hawker 800-series operators within a year, the company announced. While Safe Flight and installation partner West Star Aviation noted that while autothrottle systems have been available on larger business jets for years, this will be the first such system for a midsize jet, they said.
Raytheon Aircraft selected Cox & Company of Manhattan, N.Y., to supply its electromagnetic expulsion de-icing (EMED) system for the horizontal stabilizer of the Hawker Horizon, which is scheduled to receive certification before year-end.
When Richard Santulli sold three fractional shares in a business aircraft in 1986, people snickered. Ten years later, NetJets had sold 1,551 shares and Santulli was the one left laughing. Today, NetJets has company in the fractional-ownership industry, an industry that now represents 5,827 fractional shares. Even with the current economic slump, last year’s new share sales were up by 17 percent over the tally for 2001.