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.
Tamarack Aerospace has unveiled the first of what it promises will be a series of active winglet systems designed to relieve wing bending loads caused by winglets. The company’s active technology load alleviation system (Atlas) is slated to be certified and available for installation on Cirrus SR22 G1 and G2 piston singles early next year, but Tamarack is also testing Atlas, which includes new winglets, on a Cessna CJ1. In fact, it brought an Atlas-equipped CJ1 to the NBAA Convention this week in Orlando, Fla., and is giving demonstration rides during the show.
Whelen Engineering (Booth No. 2789), a privately held company based in Chester, Conn., has been manufacturing aircraft lighting for more than 60 years. At this year’s NBAA Convention the company announced that it was chosen to be the supplier for the LED wingtip lighting on the Cessna Citation Sovereign block point winglet upgrade program. The wingtip unit incorporates both anti-collision and position lights using low-draw, extra bright and reliable LED technology. The product is TSOed as a line-replaceable unit. –A.L.
Dallas Airmotive is anticipating that 2012 will be its busiest year ever in terms of field service support events in North America. The engine service provider, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, had 2,600 service calls last year ranging from engine borescope inspections to full engine changes and is on track to exceed 3,000 such events this year.
For a market that company president and CEO Scott Ernest describes as remaining soft, Cessna is continuing its product development schedule. During the company’s press conference here yesterday he announced that the Wichita airframer has launched a new version of its midsize Citation Sovereign, and invited show attendees to visit the new aircraft, which has been under development for the past year-and-a-half, at the static display. Three of the upgraded Sovereigns are currently flying and have thus far accumulated approximately 800 flight-test hours.
Before digging into the details of each of the light jet markets, it’s worth noting some global factors affecting the market. In 2012, the big story in the light jet market was Europe and the devaluing euro. As the light jet market typically trades in U.S. dollars, with the euro dropping nearly 20 percent in value compared to last year, European sellers saw an opportunity to take advantage of the strong dollar and liquidate at relatively lower dollar values for their assets, yielding a higher amount of euros.
Irvine, Calif.-based JetSuite announced an order today for 15 Cessna Citation CJ3s, which will double the size of its fleet and expand its offerings beyond the Embraer Phenom 100. The charter membership firm started taking bookings today for the new, longer-range CJ3s, though inaugural flights won’t begin until November 19. During the first year of operations, JetSuite’s CJ3 service will be available between any points east of the Mississippi and from the East to and from Aspen and Vail, and through Eastern Canada and the Caribbean.