Taking advantage of the big stage at the NBAA Convention last month, Piper Aircraft introduced its evolved and renamed PiperJet Altaire, showing a mockup of the redesigned fuselage and cabin interior and describing the aircraft as “the next step” in the evolution of its single-engine very light jet program.
Compared with August 2009, there were fewer used business jets for sale in August this year, according to statistics compiled by JetNet (Booth No. 8401). There were also slightly more turboprop aircraft on the preowned market and almost exactly the same number of turbine helicopters for sale at the end of August 2009 and 2010, but slightly more piston helicopters on the market this year.
As business aviation flight hours have increased over the past year, the number of industry accidents also rose slightly, according to statistics released last week by business aviation safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates. During the first nine months of this year, the U.S. business jet and turboprop fleet experienced 34 accidents, including five fatal that resulted in 14 deaths.
A new General Electric turboprop engine, derived from the 7,500-shp GE38-1B turboshaft engine, could become available by the middle of the decade. GE has designated the new engine study CPX38, and is basing it on the turboshaft that will power the U.S. Marine Corps’ new heavy-lift helicopter, the Sikorsky CH-53K. This could mean that the CPX38 would be in the 5,000- to 6,000-shp range.
Among turbofan manufacturers, Williams International remains tops with AIN readers for the support it provides to operators. Rolls-Royce, combined into one listing this year for the first time instead of being separated into R-R and R-R Deutschland, takes second place and, by barely a gnat’s whisker, bumps Pratt & Whitney Canada to third place.
Hawker Beechcraft 1900D, Denver, Colo., June 12, 2010–After landing at Denver International Airport, the turboprop twin was substantially damaged when its left main landing gear partially collapsed. The airplane was returning to the airport after the crew heard a loud bang as they retracted the gear on takeoff for the flight to Cheyenne, Wyo.
Business aircraft flight activity again returned to positive territory last month, increasing 1.7 percent from last year, after posting an almost 1-percent year-over-year decline in July, according to TraqPak data released yesterday by aviation services company Argus.
Australia’s Gippsland Aeronautics is receiving a $20 million infusion from its new owner, India’s Mahindra Group, to develop a 10-seat variant of its GA8 Airvan and launch the new 18-seat GA18 turboprop (formerly the Nomad). Mahindra has already invested $2 million to expand Gippsland’s business domestically, and the company plans to first complete the 10-seat GA10 and then focus on the GA18.
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) could enter the regional turboprop segment as early as next year, if it proceeds with the launch of a 90-seat aircraft it is currently evaluating. The company had rejected the idea of a regional jet due to the crowded market already existing with segment leaders Embraer and Bombardier being joined by new aircraft from Mitsubishi, Sukhoi and AVIC.
Latin American countries are poised to play an important part in business aviation’s recovery, according to aviation consultant Brian Foley. “Latin America has historically been the third-largest market for business aircraft,” he said. There are nearly 31,000 private business jets and turboprops worldwide, with 62 percent based in the U.S. and Canada, followed by 13 percent in Europe and a “surprising” 12 percent in Latin America.