With Dassault Aviation’s ubiquitous Falcon jet family celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, it is understandable that the company should take time to reflect on the achievements of the past half-century. But, in reality, Dassault spends far more time making plans for the next 50 years.
The Challenger 350 will become the time-to-climb leader of the entire Bombardier business jet line once it enters service next year, Bombardier Challenger vice president and general manager Stéphane Leblanc said at a technical briefing at EBACE. Bombardier expects the super-midsize jet to reach 41,000 feet in 18 minutes, surpassing the manufacturer’s current leader, the Learjet 60.
Hawker Beechcraft Services facilities are now authorized installation centers for the CenTex Halo 250 gross weight increase modification for the Beechcraft King Air 200. The conversion adds 920 pounds of payload capacity by increasing the mtow of 200-series King Airs to 13,420 pounds from 12,500.
CenTex Aerospace of Waco, Texas, developed the modification and received FAA certification last October.
Aviation Partners, Inc. (API, Booth 283) is anticipating EASA certification of its winglets for retrofit to Dassault Falcon 50 jets in the coming weeks. The expected approval will be the European counterpart of the FAA supplemental type certificate received in September 2012. The aerodynamic devices are the same “high-Mach blended winglets” currently available on the Falcon 2000 and 900 series (all three Falcon series share the same wing) and are promised to provide drag reduction and corresponding range increase of “5 to 7 percent at typical intermediate to long range cruise speeds.”
Bombardier Aerospace took the wraps off the Challenger 350–an upgraded Challenger 300 with a new wing, more powerful engines, larger windows and redesigned interior–today at EBACE. NetJets was also announced as the launch customer for the new $25.8 million twinjet, which is $1 million more than its fraternal twin that Bombardier will continue to offer. First deliveries of the new Challenger are scheduled to begin in May 2014.
Today at EBACE, Nextant Aerospace launched the $4.95 million 400XTi (the “i” stands for innovation) as the latest evolution of its remanufactured Beechjet. Compared to the 400XT, the new version introduces a number of improvements, including an all-new cabin that offers more space and reduced noise.
Boeing Business Jets (BBJ, Booth 7010) is displaying its first production BBJ3 this week at EBACE 2013 and says the aircraft is for a Middle Eastern customer. Seven BBJ3s have been ordered so far, with three in completion, four in service and another scheduled to enter into service in June, according to Boeing.
For BLR Aerospace vice president of sales and marketing Dave Marone, EBACE is “a show that becomes more important every year.” The U.S. manufacturer of performance improvement modifications for Beechcraft King Airs and helicopters generates about 15 percent of its business in Europe. “We’re getting our fair share of business out of Europe,” he said. “Not to be involved with EBACE is like putting a big X into Europe.”
In a Service Bulletin issued May 3, winglet manufacturer Aviation Partners (API) instructed operators with winglet-equipped 800-series Hawkers modified by STC#ST01411SE to reduce maximum permissible altitude to 34,000 feet. “Several instances of aileron/wing oscillations have been reported on the Hawker 800 [series],” the company said. “Aviation Partners and the FAA consider this Service Bulletin to be a safety-related limitation until a design change to preclude the oscillations is developed and FAA approved.”
Embraer Commercial Aviation CEO Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva said he sees requests for proposals coming from U.S. airlines for between 200 and 400 regional jets in the 70- to 76-seat market segment as relaxed scope clauses continue to drive demand on this side of the Atlantic while a “pause” in Europe takes hold.