Just five months after celebrating the delivery of its first new-build Eclipse 550 light jet, Eclipse Aerospace laid off a “substantial” number of employees at its Albuquerque, N.M. headquarters and facilities in Chicago and Charleston, S.C., citing slow sales for its very light jet.
Very light jets
The Embraer Legacy 500 received type certification from Brazil’s civil aviation agency, Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC), this afternoon during a ceremony at LABACE 2014 in São Paulo, Brazil. The company expects to obtain FAA approval for its clean-sheet, fly-by-wire midsize business jet “in the upcoming weeks” and from EASA “thereafter.”
In a ceremony conducted on the first day of LABACE, Embraer accepted certification approval from ANAC, Brazil’s civil aviation authority, for its $20 million Legacy 500 midsize business jet. U.S. FAA certification is expected in the coming weeks, with European approval to follow soon after.
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.
Honda Aircraft’s first production HondaJet made its first flight last week, from the company’s headquarters in Greensboro, N.C. Taking off at 10:18 a.m. on June 27, the HondaJet, with test pilot Warren Gould at the controls, flew for 84 minutes and reached 15,500 feet and 348 ktas. During the flight, checks included low- and high-speed handling characteristics, Garmin G3000 avionics functionality and operation of the landing gear, flaps and speed brakes.
Embraer Executive Jets celebrated the delivery of the 500th Phenom yesterday, just 5.5 years after the first Phenom 100 entered service and 4.5 years after Phenom 300 deliveries began. The milestone aircraft, a Phenom 300, was delivered to Prime Fraction Club, a fractional provider in Brazil that operates three other Phenoms, as well as helicopters, boats and sports cars.
For many companies, the private charter and management sector has not been an easy place to earn a living over the past six years. But this largely accurate generalization conceals the fact that some firms have remained successful even during the lean years, in some cases benefiting from the market consolidation that followed the financial crisis of 2008.
Embraer delivered 20 business jets during the first quarter of this year, compared with just 12 during the same period a year earlier. The 66-percent increase in deliveries in the company’s executive jet business accompanied an increase in its overall, firm-order backlog to $19.2 billion from $18.2 billion during the quarter, driven mainly by a firm order for 50 E2 E-Jets to India’s Air Costa during the Singapore Airshow in February.
Cirrus Aircraft’s first production conforming Vision SF50 very light jet, dubbed “C-Zero” (C0), achieved its maiden flight last month from Duluth International Airport, where the company has its headquarters. V1–a nonconforming SF50 prototype of the all-composite, single-engine jet–has been flying July 3, 2008.
Eclipse Aerospace of Albuquerque, N.M., delivered its sixth Eclipse 550 light twinjet this week at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. Purchased by an undisclosed customer in Chicago, the aircraft is on display throughout the show, which closes on Sunday evening. The Eclipse 550 was certified on February 28 and the first copy was delivered on March 12. “We think we can produce, sell and deliver 16 to 20 [550s] this year, and we’d like to do more than that in the future,” said Eclipse CEO Mason Holland.
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