As aircraft membership club Wheels Up celebrates its first anniversary next Friday, founder and CEO Kenny Dichter said the company has expanded in line with initial projections and he predicted even more growth in the coming year. “We currently have 28 airplanes, nearly 600 members and are on target for meeting and exceeding our business objectives. In a short time, we are a major player in the private aviation industry,” he said.
Second-quarter revenues at Textron Aviation, which includes Cessna and Beechcraft, climbed $623 million year-over-year, to $1.18 billion, reflecting the Beechcraft acquisition in late March and higher jet deliveries. Textron Aviation delivered 70 turbine business aircraft during the quarter–36 Cessna Citations and 34 Beechcraft Kings Airs, up from 20 jets and 14 King Air turboprops in the same period last year.
Textron has assembled a new flight simulator manufacturing and training company–TRU Simulation + Training–that its leaders believe will offer strong competition to entrenched players FlightSafety International and CAE.
Aircraft Structures International (ASIC) plans to install the P&WC PT6A-140 turboprop in the Cessna Grand Caravan and the original Caravan with STCs in place by year-end. Branded the Ultimate Caravan, it will provide owners of older Caravans performance similar to that of the Cessna Grand Caravan EX, according to ASIC.
In a deal announced this June, Cessna Aircraft is providing factory custom refurbishment for 10 Citation Excels and XLSes for Wheels Up, the New York City-based aircraft access membership program established by Marquis Jet Card founder Kenny Dichter. Wheels Up debuted one of the Citations at New York Westchester County Airport in June.
The new Textron Aviation is here at Farnborough (Outdoor Exhibit L2) to show a portfolio of current production aircraft that are available in special mission configurations. The company is displaying a special mission Beechcraft King Air 350ER among other aircraft.
In March, Providence, Rhode Island-based Textron acquired the parent company of Beechcraft for $1.4 billion. It then combined Beechcraft and the former Hawker with its own Cessna Aircraft subsidiary to create Textron Aviation, offering a range of single-engine piston, turboprop and jet aircraft.
Textron Aviation announced yesterday at the Farnborough International airshow that its entire range of Beechcraft and Cessna products is now available in special-mission configuration. All 20 current-production aircraft “fit numerous mission profiles, including aerial survey, air ambulance, flight inspection, aerial surveillance, training and utility transport,” the company said.
Textron AirLand’s new Scorpion tactical jet is making its international debut here in the UK. The clean-sheet design attracted curious onlookers last week at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) in Fairford, UK, including among them Gen. Mark Welsh, U.S. Air Force chief of staff. This week, the jet can be seen on static display at the Farnborough International Airshow through Thursday.
Textron’s TRU Simulation + Training subsidiary acquired ProFlight, a Carlsbad, Calif.-based FAR Part 142 training center specializing in the Cessna CitationJet and Conquest, as well as Pro Line 21 avionics. Since it was founded in 1988, ProFlight has trained thousands of pilots and continues to grow “as its training model appeals to a broad range of pilots, from owner operators to corporate aviation departments.” ProFlight will continue to operate from its Carlsbad facility.
After five harsh years, the business aviation market is indeed showing signs worthy of optimism, according to responses from JetNet IQ’s most recent industry survey, released last month at the company’s fourth annual summit in New York City. Each quarter the company polls hundreds of business jet owners and operators to read the business climate they are facing, and in the latest round, 54 percent overall (and 59 percent of U.S.
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