Effective yesterday, the FAA officially amended the regulations governing extended twin-engine operations (ETOPS) of turbine-powered airplanes operated by airlines and on-demand charter passenger-carrying operations.
The NTSB is examing the structural integrity of the all-composite tail of the Airbus A300-600 that crashed November 12 after liftoff from New York JFK Airport. During an encounter with wake turbulence, the tail of the twin-engine airliner tore away virtually intact. Today’s business jets use a wide variety of composite parts, including Raytheon Aircraft, whose Premier I has an all-composite fuselage.
Avolar, the newly formed business aviation subsidiary of UAL Corp., reached an agreement with Airbus to market and/or manage, but not buy, up to 15 Airbus Corporate Jetliners under a program to be operated separately from Avolar’s fractional-ownership program for smaller business jets. Terms also permit Avolar customers to purchase an ACJ. The executive twinjets will be crewed by mainline United Airlines pilots.
Reno, Nev.-based Aerion is still hoping to convince an OEM partner to join it by the end of this year in its quest to build a supersonic business jet capable of sprinting from New York to London in just four hours. In the six months since the company began accepting orders for the Mach 1.6, $80 million twinjet, 40 would-be buyers have signed letters of intent backed by refundable deposits of $250,000.
Alpha Omega Jet Services, launched in late 2000 as an aircraft management and consulting firm, went into the completion and refurb business last month with the acquisition of Aircraft Components Manufacturing. Both companies reside at Sulphur Springs (Texas) Municipal Airport. As a subcontractor, ACM had done the cabinetry work for four Boeing Business Jets finished by the former Raytheon Aircraft Integration Systems.
Bombardier Aerospace and Beijing-based China Ocean Aviation Group have introduced a new Challenger 800 corporate shuttle into service in the People’s Republic of China. The Challenger 800 is a corporate variant of the CRJ200 regional jet. China Ocean’s aircraft, featuring a two-class configuration designed for 34 passengers, will be deployed primarily as a senior government executive transport and is the second of a two-aircraft deal.
Nimbus Group, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla. company that recently failed to obtain sufficient financing to complete its proposed purchase of 1,000 Eclipse 500 entry-level twinjets, and Miami-based Holding company Horizons Aviation have terminated their August letter of intent in which Horizons would own a controlling share of Nimbus.
The board of directors of startup Swiss company Aviace confirmed on September 24 that Wilfried Koeck is its new CEO. Koeck was the founder and president of leasing and financing company Airfleet Credit. He replaced Hilmar Hilmarsson, who left the company. In May, Zurich-based Aviace announced a firm order for 112 Eclipse 500 twinjets and unveiled plans to establish a network of “jet clubs” in Europe.
The in-development 1,000-lb-thrust turbofan from startup Agilis Engines apparently isn’t a shoo-in for the Safire S-26 personal twinjet, as previously indicated. AIN has learned that powerplants from Pratt & Whitney Canada and Williams International were also evaluated for the new twinjet during a design review conducted in June.
A new Pentagon order for V-22 Osprey tiltrotors could boost prospects for more rapid development of the BA609 civil tiltrotor. The U.S. Department of Defense signed a $10.4 billion contract for 167 more Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey military tiltrotors over the next five years, despite continuing engine problems on the machine. The Marine Corps will receive 141 MV-22s and the Air Force 26 CV-22s for its Special Operations Command.