While general aviation began to show signs of recovery in 2012, boosted by strong growth in rotorcraft and the agricultural turboprop aircraft segment, the slow economic recovery and economic uncertainties continued to plague business jet and multi-engine piston deliveries. However, “We see growth in business aviation demand over the long term driven by a growing U.S. and world economy, especially in the jet, turboprop and turbine rotorcraft markets,” the FAA said in its “Aerospace Forecast for Fiscal Years 2013-2033,” released yesterday.
Airborne Engines (Booth No. N5804), a subsidiary of M International, used Heli-Expo ’13 as the venue for signing a memorandum of understanding with Rolls-Royce to become an authorized maintenance center (AMC) for the M250 engine line. M International’s Airborne Engines, a supplier of aftermarket technical, MRO and supply-chain management services, will perform the M250 maintenance at its 32,000-sq-ft facility in Delta, British Columbia (Canada).
Russia’s Yakutia Airlines took the first of three Bombardier Q400 turboprops to its base at Yakutsk Airport in late January, marking the first-ever delivery of the big turboprop to a Russian operator. Yakutia’s new status as a Q400 operator follows type approval for the type by Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) in June last year.
While the business aviation industry greets each morsel of positive economic news with cautious optimism, continuing financial indecision made 2012 another depressed year for turbine aircraft deliveries, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), which released its year-end delivery totals last month. Last year general aviation reached a milestone of sorts, according to GAMA chairman Brad Mottier. For the first time, he noted, shipments to North American buyers in all three airplane segments–jets, turboprops and pistons–dipped to 50 percent.
With its official emergence from bankruptcy today, the new Beechcraft Corp. returns to the roots planted by founders Walter and Olive Ann Beech in 1932.
Piper Aircraft ended 2012 with nearly $149 million in annual revenue from new aircraft sales, up more than 13 percent from the previous year. This revenue increase was the result of a 16-percent rise in deliveries last year to 158 aircraft, 22 more than in 2011. Piper delivered 93 of its top-line M-Class aircraft–including 39 Meridian turboprop singles–compared with 82 the previous year, which also helped the annual revenue mix. Meanwhile, the company named Jack Mill as vice president of engineering today.
Rolls Royce is attending the 2013 Aero India show with a renewed sense of optimism for its prospects in this key Asian market. At the last show back in 2011, there was some gloom when the UK-based aero engines maker decided to withdraw from the competition for re-engining the Indian Air Force’s Jaguars.
Hawker Beechcraft, which is displaying a King Air 350i this week at Aero India in Bangalore, continues to lead the turboprop market segment in India. Citing JetNet data, the company said 82 percent of the new turboprop business aircraft delivered into India from 2002 to 2011 were King Airs, while 83 percent of the total fleet of registered business turboprops in the country are King Airs. It has also cornered the turboprop market for state and federal organizations in India, with these operators flying more than 20 King Airs in the country.
VisionSafe has entered into an agreement with Banyan Air Service naming the MRO an emergency vision assurance system (EVAS) sales and service center for the Southeast U.S. EVAS is an FAA tested and certified system available for all turboprop and jet aircraft that displaces smoke, enabling pilots to see the flight path and instruments during an emergency.
After posting a 2.3-percent loss in November, business aircraft flying decreased again last month versus a year ago–this time by 2 percent–according to TraqPak data released yesterday by aviation services company Argus. These results again were partially weighed down by the temporary shutdown of Avantair’s turboprop flight operations during the fourth quarter.