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.
Very light jets
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.
Embraer Executive Jets delivered the 300th Phenom 100 earlier this week to Laticínios Bela Vista, an agribusiness company based in Bela Vista de Goiás, Brazil. This is the second Phenom 100 for the company, which uses the light jet to shuttle executives and managers among the company’s industrial facilities and to visit customers in cities across Brazil. Embraer delivered the first Phenom 100, to husband and wife owner-pilots Jim and Betsy Frost, in December 2008, and the current fleet is operating in more than 25 countries.
Cirrus Aircraft’s first conforming Vision SF50, dubbed “C-Zero” (C0), made its maiden flight yesterday from Duluth International Airport, where the company has its headquarters. V1–a non-conforming prototype of the all-composite SF50 single-engine jet–has been flying since July 3, 2008. C0, the first of three conforming flight-test aircraft, was assembled from production-ready drawings, tooling and manufacturing processes, according to Cirrus.
Eclipse Aerospace (EAI) marked the official start of customer deliveries for its Eclipse 550 very light jet Wednesday, as company CEO Mason Holland handed over S/N 265 to Louisiana businessman Fred Phillips at the company’s Albuquerque, N.M. headquarters.
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