VLJ activity has rebounded strongly in Europe, at the expense of traditional light jets such as Citations and Learjets, according to speakers at the annual Business Aircraft Europe event, held at London Biggin Hill Airport on September 11 and 12. The event grew out of Light Jets Europe, which started in 2007 but was renamed after the VLJ (very light jet) sector nosedived with much of the rest of the industry when the global financial crisis hit five years ago.
FlightSafety International announced a “significant” expansion of the training the company offers for Cessna Citations and Caravans at its learning centers in Orlando, Fla.; San Antonio and Wichita. This includes training for the full Citation Excel/XLS series in Orlando, including a new level-D XLS+ sim outfitted with Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics; addition of the only existing CJ2+ simulator in San Antonio; and a Cessna Caravan simulator equipped with a Garmin G600 avionics suite that just came online in Wichita.
Cessna Aircraft, in a relatively quiet ceremony on Monday, rolled out the first production unit of the new Citation X upgrade at its Wichita, Kansas manufacturing facility. A crowd of some 200 Cessna employees hailed the rollout and CEO Scott Ernest claimed that the 8- to 12-passenger twinjet, with a top speed of Mach 0.935, is the fastest (though not yet certified) civilian aircraft in the world. (The certified Gulfstream G650 has a maximum speed of Mach 0.925.)
Jettech has added the Citation V to its expanding fleet of Garmin G600 RVSM-equipped 500-series Cessna Citations. The FAA has awarded Jettech a supplemental type certificate for the glass-panel EFIS installation modification covering 259 legacy 560-series Citations. With this STC, Jettech now offers installation kits for the Citation 500, 501, 550, 551, S550 and the 560 with serial numbers 0001 through 0259.
TrueNorth Avionics’ Simphonē Chorus cabin communications system received STC approval for installation on the Cessna Citation 560. The STC, developed and completed by Duncan Aviation in Battle Creek, Mich., includes TrueNorth’s Simphonē Chorus and SwiftBroadband 200 systems, as well as both wired and wireless handsets. TrueNorth said the STC applies to the Chorus and Duo editions of the system, which add both voice and data/Wi-Fi capabilities to the cabin.
Uvalde, Texas-based Sierra Industries delivered its 50th Cessna Citation with the Williams International FJ44-2A engine retrofit last week. This milestone Citation was handed over to customer Dr. Howard Tobin, a director of the Citation Jet Pilots Association. Including the company’s previous Eagle 400 modifications and FJ44-3A upgrades for Citation IIs and S/IIs, Sierra has performed engine retrofits on more than 70 Citations.
Sierra Industries and Clifford Development have formed a joint venture called NewJETz to develop a Williams International FJ44-4 engine retrofit program. The 3,600-pound-thrust engine retrofit will power legacy Cessna Citation 550 and 560 series jets, including the Citation V, Bravo, Ultra and Encore. The new modification is called eVolution, and NewJETz will also offer owners of these aircraft avionics and other upgrades.
Safe Flight Instrument introduced its AutoPower Citation X autothrottle system during the NBAA Convention. The system can operate in speed dominate or power dominate mode. It also has a retard mode for landing. “Passenger comfort is just one of the advantages of this system,” said Ken Bannon, manager of corporate marketing for the company. “The system reduces crew workload, stabilizes approaches, limits airspeed overshoots and contributes to fuel savings.”
Honeywell will supply Cessna with key systems for the latter’s new Latitude and Longitude jets in a deal announced this week at NBAA2012 that could be worth up to $800 million over the production life of the two aircraft. Cessna has selected Honeywell’s Laseref VI inertial navigation system, Primus HF-1050 high-frequency radios, digital cabin pressure control and monitoring system and environmental control system for both aircraft and the RE100 auxiliary power unit for the Latitude.
Sierra Industries and Clifford Development have formed a joint venture called NewJETz to develop a Williams International FJ44-4 engine (3,600 lbs. of thrust) retrofit program. The retrofit will power legacy Cessna Citation 550 and 560 series jets, including the Citation V, Bravo, Ultra and Encore. The new modification is called eVolution, and NewJETz will also offer owners of these aircraft avionics and other upgrades.