Piaggio Aero and Selex ES announced at the Dubai Airshow that the first flight of the P.1HH HammerHead Demo unmanned aircraft system (UAS) technology demonstrator took place on November 14 at Trapani air force base in Italy.
Piaggio P.180 Avanti
Both Tawazun and Mubadala are displaying models of the new maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) version of the Piaggio Avanti that is under development for Adasi, a Tawazun subsidiary. Piaggio Aero, in which Mubadala has a large stake, is developing the aircraft platform with a long-span wing and increased foreplane and tailplane area, among other changes. Sweden’s Saab has been employed to provide the mission system. The MPA will be operated by a crew of four, comprising a pilot, two sensor/system operators and a mission commander.
Italy’s Piaggio Aero Industries (Stand 1906) announced before the Dubai Airshow that India’s Tata group is now its largest shareholder, with 44.5 percent of the company’s new equity.
Sky Limo Air Charter of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., announced receiving FAA approval on Monday to place an ex-Avantair Piaggio Avanti (N306MS) on its Part 135 charter certificate, as well as the successful completion of the first charter flight with the aircraft yesterday. N306MS is one of five Avantis repossessed by Avantair creditor Midsouth Services before the Clearwater, Fla.-based fractional company entered bankruptcy.
Euravia Engineering and Greenwich AeroGroup have entered into a partnership to provide MRO services for Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A and PT6T turbine engines on fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft in the U.S. Through its MRO facilities (Atlantic Aero in Greensboro N.C., Summit Aviation in Middletown, Del., and Western Aircraft in Boise, Idaho), Greenwich AeroGroup will provide engine inventory and component storage, logistics and distribution services across the U.S. and also between the U.S. and the UK.
There were two major developments in the business turboprop sector this year and neither involved new aircraft. However, they did show where potentially the next growth area is for the turboprop market: downstream. Turboprops historically have been a useful vehicle for introducing new customers into the corporate aircraft market, provided operators can maintain price discipline. If not, bad things can happen. Case in point: after several years of public struggle, Piaggio Avanti fractional provider Avantair ceased operations in June.
ACEA (Beijing) Aviation Investment, the Piaggio Avanti distributor in Mainland China, signed a contract yesterday at NBAA 2013 with SR Jet, a division of Beijing-based Sparkle Roll Investment Holdings, for the purchase of two extended-range Avanti IIs with options for eight more. The aircraft will incorporate an additional tank with a 400-pound capacity, increasing the maximum fuel on board to 3,226 pounds from 2,826 and extending the maximum range by 250 nm, to 1,720 nm with IFR reserves.
Constant Aviation is expanding its national sales force and maintenance offerings through its three facilities in Cleveland, Ohio; Birmingham, Ala.; and Las Vegas, Nev. Constant now offers maintenance services on the Embraer Phenom 100 and 300 and Legacy 600 and 650; the Cessna Citation X; all Hawker 800 series; Beechjet/Hawker 400 series; and Bombardier Challenger 300 jets as well as the Piaggio Avanti and King Air turboprops. Offered services include airframe, engine and avionics repair, interior refurbishment and parts distribution.
Piaggio Aero Industries, Italian manufacturer of the P.180 Avanti II twin turboprop, and ACEA (Beijing) Aviation Investment Co., exclusive distributor for the aircraft in Mainland China, signed a contract here at NBAA 2013 yesterday with SR Jet, a division of Beijing-based Sparkle Roll Investment Holdings, for the purchase of two Avanti IIs with options for an additional eight.
The first of 56 Avanti P.180 turboprop twins from the former fleet of bankrupt Avantair has had its airworthiness certificate revalidated by the FAA, Italian aircraft manufacturer Piaggio told AIN yesterday at NBAA 2013. Avantair was grounded in June, and the airworthiness certificates for all of its aircraft were revoked by the FAA, due to lax maintenance.