Pre-owned business jet and turboprop inventory as a percentage of in-service aircraft continued to fall in March, though pricing has yet to find a floor, according to data released yesterday by aviation services firm JetNet. Inventory of used business jets fell 1 percent year-over-year, to 12.1 percent, the third lowest since 2005, JetNet said. Pre-owned turboprop inventory barely managed a decrease, falling just 0.1 percent to 7.7 percent from March 2013.
Spending a week in China at the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition is a refreshing reminder that as much as countries like China want to put general aviation to work, the actual implementation is going to be nothing like what aviation-minded westerners are used to. It seems we have a naive desire to see general aviation in China replicate the landscape of non-commercial aviation in the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Carey Matthews (left), general manager Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Centre (SHPBASC, Booth H128) receives a plaque from Brad Thress, senior v-p Customer Service, Textron Aviation (Chalet 13), identifying SHPBASC as an authorized Cessna Service Center.
“We’re privileged to service Cessnas around China,” Matthews said.
Textron Aviation, which includes Cessna, Beechcraft, and support services for Hawker jets, no longer in production, has some 325 of its products in China, encompassing about 200 piston, 70 turboprop and 50 jet aircraft.
Beidahuang General Aviation of Harbin, China, signed for a Beechcraft King Air C90GTx today at ABACE 2014, an order that was brokered through Textron Beechcraft’s channel partner in China, Avion Pacific. The C90GTx will join a fleet of nearly 90 business aircraft operated by Beidahuang General Aviation, which is a subsidiary of Chinese state-owned agribusinesses conglomerate Beidahuang Group. Beidahuang General Aviation plans to use the turboprop twin for personnel transport and aerial survey. The company’s fleet of helicopters and airplanes logs more than 10,000 hours per year.
Business aircraft flying continued its positive trend so far this year, with activity climbing 1.1 percent last month from March 2013, according to the TraqPak data released yesterday by aviation services company Argus. Its analysts also estimate that overall flight activity this month will rise 0.4 percent from last year.
Rebuffing descriptions of the CSeries’ sales performance as “sluggish,” Bombardier says it welcomes comparisons between its airplane and those that Boeing and Airbus offer in the 100- to 149-seat market segment. In a recent market analysis, the Canadian airframe maker cites firm order figures for the CSeries of 201 aircraft from 18 customers, compared with 47 from three customers for the Airbus A319neo, 55 from two customers for the Boeing 737-7 Max, and 100 from two customers for the Embraer E190/195 E2.
Quest Aircraft (Booth MD-032B) of Sandpoint, Idaho, is displaying one of its Kodiak turboprop singles outfitted with the new “Summit Executive” interior this week at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. The new interior, which is expected to receive STC approval in the second quarter, features reclining club-four seating, along with folding tables, forward cabinets, better soundproofing and other amenities. It builds on the Timberline and Tundra interiors announced in 2012 that included composite panels, storage pockets, cupholders, improved headrests and center pedestal closeouts.
The European Aviation Safety Agency STC’d Hartzell Propeller’s swept airfoil composite five-blade propellers on the Daher-Socata TBM 700/850. First installation of the new higher performance Hartzell prop on a European-registered TBM was recently performed at the Socata North America Service Center in Pembroke Pines, Fla. According to Hartzell, the new propeller for the turboprop single results in faster takeoff acceleration, higher cruise speeds and better climb, along with less noise.
Daher-Socata’s new TBM 900 is making its public debut this week at the 2014 Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla., less than three weeks after the upgraded turboprop single was unveiled in Tarbes, France. Based on its speed and efficiency improvements over its TBM 850 predecessor, the $3.7 million TBM 900 has attracted “significant attention among pilots, owners and operators,” Daher-Socata said.
Vulcanair delivered the first P68 Observer 2 in China yesterday, less than two weeks after the Chinese Civil Aviation Authority (CAAC) granted type certificate validation for the twin turboprop. The aircraft was delivered to Vulcanair’s Chinese distributor, Tianjin-based China Aero Supply, which will in turn hand over the turboprop to its undisclosed customer. Vulcanair said this Observer 2 will be used for aerial photo missions. China Aero Supply also has “a number” of P68 Observer 2s on order, which will be delivered to China “soon.”