Flying Colours is currently performing green Challenger completions for several Asia-based clients, and refurbishing a Challenger 604 for a Chinese operator. The company’s CRJ ExecLiner program, which converts a standard CRJ into an executive business jet, is also active in China, and the first conversion for a China-based client, which will include full CAAC certification of the ExecLiner interior and auxiliary fuel system, is near completion. The 15-passenger interior will have three cabins, IFE system, dual lavatories and a long-range fuel system.
The Challenger 350 is on track to enter service in the middle of this year, Bombardier Aerospace confirmed on Thursday. As of the end of last year, 75 percent of the flight-test program had been completed and the new interior was certified on December 17, the company said.
Canadian MRO, completions and refurbishment specialist Flying Colours is rapidly expanding its presence in the Asian market.
Since the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) last year, the company has delivered four Challenger 850 cabin completions in the Chinese market and has another five 850s in the pipeline, scheduled for delivery over the next year.
Georgetown, Texas-based Challenger Spares and Support will be rebranding its parts and service division as Red Aviation. The purpose of the change is to emphasize the company’s growth beyond the Challenger series, in which it has specialized from its founding in 2001.
At $200,000 a ticket it isn’t cheap but it is definitely out of this world and you get a great view. Virgin Galactic’s plans to be the first space tourism business really took off after SpaceShipOne won the Ansari X-Prize back in 2004.
“Tranquility Base here, the Enterprise has landed.”
While it might not have been as dramatic as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touching down on the moon, for New York City, April 27 was known as the day the city got a space shuttle.
The science-fiction pundits were wrong. The future of space travel doesn’t look like a Buck Rogers-style rocket poised to roar straight up into the twinkling heavens from a tinkerer’s backyard. What space travel will look like, according to a company called Stratolaunch Systems−which includes board member and backyard tinkerer Burt Rutan−is kind of unsurprising, more airplane-like, although no less fantastical.
For fans of the U.S. space program, the next few years will be as much about looking at the past as gazing ahead to the future.
Burt Rutan, who retired in April from Scaled Composites, the company he founded in Mojave, Calif., has joined with Paul Allen in a plan to build the largest aircraft in the world. Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, funded the SpaceShipOne effort that successfully boosted the first privately funded manned rocket outside the Earth’s atmosphere.
The Orion Air Group upped its profile by displaying a Gulfstream IISP modified as an R&D testbed at the Royal International Air Tattoo, RAF Fairford, UK, in mid-July. The privately held U.S.-based group was founded about three years ago, and generated nearly $200 million in 2010 from special mission and corporate aircraft services. The latter are marketed under the Tempus Jets name.
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