AgustaWestland recently disclosed it is moving production of the A119 Koala single-engine helicopter from Italy to Philadelphia. Flanked by Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell and local politicians, company officials broke ground on March 2 on a manufacturing and final assembly plant at Northeast Philadelphia Airport, where about 20 Koalas will be built each year.
Bell Helicopter was at last month’s Heli-Expo in Las Vegas in force as usual, with a 412 and a 407 on display at its booth. At the static area, the Texas-based helicopter manufacturer had several new-design 427 mockups, an Eagle Eye UAV and a Bell 430. Another 430, along with a 427 and 407, was also available for customer flights from the convention center.
Cessna said last month it will increase production of its Citation X by more than 65 percent from 2006 to 2010, to meet “growing demand,” primarily from non-U.S. buyers. Such demand would reverse a five-year downward trend in which 12 Citation Xs were delivered last year compared with 14 in 2005, 15 in 2004, 18 in 2003, 31 in 2002 and 34 in 2001. “The business jet market outside the U.S.
The BA609 Tiltrotor program is continuing slowly toward certification, now planned for 2010. At Heli-Expo, a Bell spokesman confirmed that the company has applied to the FAA for a type certificate, which usually signifies serious intent because it starts the clock on the certification deadline (three years for Part 23, five years for Part 25), and it took orders for two more BA609s at the show.
Both revenue and profit at Cessna decreased in the first quarter, compared with the same period last year, primarily due to delivering fewer jets–34 versus 50. However, a jump in orders has prompted the Wichita-based company to increase this year’s delivery target from between 165 and 170 jets to between 170 and 175. Cessna booked orders for 70 new jets in the first quarter and is projecting jet deliveries “north of 200” next year.
Photos surface on the Internet occasionally that are too strong just to file away. The story these pictures tell is the collision on January 16 this year between a Beech Baron B55 and a Cessna 180K near Tehachapi, Calif. (NTSB ID LAX04 FA095A/B). The Baron pilot, cruise-climbing between 5,500 and 6,500 feet at the moment of impact with the Cessna’s right landing gear, survived the collision and was able to put down on a dirt strip.
World banking giant Bank of America (Booth No. 700), a long-time player in fixed-wing financing, announced yesterday its entrance into the rotorcraft market. Although the bank has financed helicopters on an individual basis in the past, this marks the company’s first attempt at luring a broad spectrum of new clients.
Mark King is the new president and CEO of International Aero Engines. King joined the company from Rolls-Royce, where he was executive v-p for airlines. He succeeded Steve Heath, who has returned to Pratt & Whitney as v-p of commercial engine programs and technical support.
Cessna Aircraft president and CEO Jack Pelton said last month that the Wichita company’s newest business jet, the Citation Mustang, will be assembled at its Independence, Kan. plant.
Cessna’s first Citation CJ3 light jet rolled off the production line on Friday, February 13 at the company’s Wichita facility. The six-passenger airplane, announced at the 2002 NBAA Convention, is expected to receive type certification this summer. Cessna said its CJ3 order book stands at more than 100 aircraft.