Former Cessna chairman and CEO Jack Pelton is among a half-dozen veteran business and military aviation executives who have joined forces to offer remanufactured turbine-powered aircraft to the aviation and defense industries. The newly formed company, The Aviation Alliance, also announced its first business aviation offering yesterday: the Excalibur 421.
Bell Helicopter Asia, Bell’s maintenance service facility in Singapore, received Part 145 approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore. This certification allows the company to repair, complete, maintain and customize Bell helicopters in Asia. The 165,000-sq-ft facility opened its doors six months ago in partnership with sister company Cessna Aircraft.
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.
Cessna has successfully completed certification flight tests of Safe Flight Instrument’s automatic throttle system for the Citation X. FAA STC approval of the autothrottle system for the Mach 0.92 jet is expected within the next month, according to Safe Flight. By controlling speed and thrust, the Cessna Citation X autothrottles will result in increased situational awareness, reduced crew workload, greater passenger comfort and extended range/payload potential, Safe Flight said.
The scale and value of anticipated charter bookings for the rest of January and into early next month has taken a predictable dip after the busy Christmas and New Year period.
Tamarack Aerospace received a contract this week for up to 10 CitationJet active winglet kits (a firm order for three with options on seven more) from Fort Myers, Fla.-based business aircraft broker Premier Jet Aviation. The kits, to be delivered next year, will be used as part of Premier Jet’s “CJ Plus” CitationJet refurbishment program.
Cessna Aircraft has started production of the Citation M2 at its Independence, Kan. facility, the company announced today. The front and aft cabin assemblies for the light business jet, which is a derivative of the out-of-production CJ1, are built at Cessna’s Wichita facility and then transported to Independence for final assembly and delivery. S/N 800, a demonstrator aircraft, is slated to roll off the assembly line in April.
Cessna Aircraft’s Grand Caravan EX received FAA type certification and has outperformed initial targets, the company announced today. Powered by a new Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-140 turboprop engine, the Grand Caravan EX boasts a 38-percent improvement in rate-of-climb over a stock Grand Caravan, a figure that exceeds the original 20-percent improvement projection. Deliveries to customers have already started.
Cessna Aircraft has acquired Jet Aviation’s maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities in Zurich, Switzerland, and Düsseldorf, Germany. The OEM had recently renewed their designations as authorized service facilities. Both facilities went into operation as Cessna Citation Service Centers on January 1. Under the terms of the agreement, Jet Aviation will continue operating the FBO facilities at both locations.
Cessna Aircraft plans to expand its network of “factory-owned, authorized service centers (ASCs)” to 15, by acquiring Jet Aviation’s maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities in Dusseldorf, Germany, and Zurich, Switzerland. Both facilities, which will represent the fifth and sixth such facilities in Europe, are currently independent Citation service centers.