Textron AirLand’s prototype Scorpion twin-engine “tactical” jet, which was built by Textron subsidiary Cessna Aircraft, flew for the first time this morning in Wichita. The aircraft, flown by engineering test pilot Dan Hinson and copilot David Sitz, took off from McConnell Air Force Base and conducted “a range of handling maneuvers” for nearly an hour-and-a-half, completing the flight at 10:30 a.m. Central Time. The joint-venture company had delayed the flight for several days because of weather in Wichita.
Last month the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia invalidated Bell Helicopter’s claims against Iran for manufacturing and selling knock-offs of the JetRanger. Iran has been manufacturing a look-a-like helicopter without authorization since 2002 under various names. Federal Judge Judith Rogers ruled there was a “lack of evidence that Iran’s commercial activity caused a ‘direct effect’ in the United States.”
“The Middle East remains a very important market for AgustaWestland,” said CEO Daniele Romiti on the eve of this year’s Dubai Airshow. “It is a challenging market, where personal relationships have a great importance,” he added.
Textron AirLand aims to fly the first prototype of its Scorpion light attack/ISR jet in the first week of December. The aircraft is currently undergoing final checks, and is scheduled to fly following the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. A joint venture between Textron and AirLand Enterprises, the Scorpion has been secretly under construction at Textron subsidiary Cessna’s Wichita plant. The project began in January 2012, but was not made public until September this year.
Bell Helicopter recently delivered seven of an order for 15 Bell 429s light twin-engine helicopters to the Turkish National Police. The helicopters were accepted during September and October by the police, which immediately started operating them for surveillance, personnel transport and air support of ground operations. Each aircraft is equipped with multi-sensor cameras and microwave downlink.
Alexander Mikheev has been named CEO of Russian Helicopters. He previously served as deputy CEO of Rosoboronexport, Russia’s weapon export agency.
Less than half (49 percent) of owners and operators of business aircraft around the globe believe the business aviation industry is past its low point, according to the annual JetNet iQ market briefing presented this week at NBAA 2013. That’s a slight drop from the 52 percent who said the industry was beyond its bottom in last year’s survey, according to business aviation information firm JetNet. Regionally, 54 percent of respondents in North America believe the worst is over, while in Latin America and the rest of the world, only 35 percent expressed such confidence.
Cessna Aircraft (Booth No. C8843) has sold two Citation Mustangs to the Yunnan Ruifeng General Aviation Company in China, for use in charter operations. Yunnan intends to operate the aircraft to very high altitude airports with elevations of approximately 13,000 feet. The aircraft will be delivered in December 2013 and next year. The deal is the first sale of a Citation Mustang to a Chinese charter operator. Yunnan already operates a Cessna Grand Caravan that it uses for sightseeing flights in southwest China.
Cessna Aircraft inked a deal with Yunnan Ruifeng General Aviation Co. this week at NBAA 2013 that will see Citation Mustangs being flown for charter services in China for the first time. Yunnan Ruifeng is acquiring two Citation Mustangs to operate charter flights in China. First delivery is scheduled for December, with the second delivery following next year. The Chinese operator was founded in 2011 and already flies a Cessna Grand Caravan for sightseeing flights in southwest China.
Less than half (49 percent) of owners and operators of business aircraft around the globe believe the business aviation industry is past its low point, according to the annual JetNet iQ State of the Market Briefing presented at NBAA 2013 on Tuesday. That’s a slight drop from the 52 percent who said the industry was beyond its bottom in last year’s survey, according to JetNet, the Ithaca, N.Y.-based market data provider.