As the normal business jet evolves to fill ever smaller niches in the market, it’s no surprise to see more airliner-derived VIP jets offered to an ever wealthier clientele. Airbus happily announced it has reached the 100 mark in Airbus Corporate Jetliner sales and Boeing has tallied firm orders for 151 BBJs and VIP jets since launching the BBJ division 11 years ago. Some buyers just want the ultimate in airborne space
An optional kit for BBJs that will provide a 6,500-foot cabin at FL410 instead of the current 8,000-foot cabin is going through the FAA approval process now and will not be available until mid-year, according to Boeing. The company announced at last year’s NBAA Convention that the kit would be available early this year.
Boeing Business Jet officials in Seattle were uncertain at press time how the BBJ program would be affected by the planned layoffs of between 20,000 and 30,000 Boeing employees by the end of next year. The decision comes amid an actual and expected drop in orders for Boeing airliners as a result of last month’s terrorist attacks. Deliveries of airliners this year, which Boeing had expected to be 538 aircraft, could be as low as 500.
At its triennial meeting in Montreal in early October, the ICAO Assembly–which includes representatives from all 187 ICAO member nations–approved a more flexible approach to the application of aircraft noise regulations.
AvAero, a maker of Learjet hush kits, has received an STC for a fuel-saving aerodynamic modification of the Boeing 737-200/300. The company claims the mod will decrease the twinjet’s fuel burn by an average of 4 percent, equating to about a 230-pph fuel-burn reduction. By repositioning the trailing-edge flaps, AvAero said it increases aft wing camber, which lets the airfoil generate the same lift at a lower angle of attack.
Proposed Embraer Business Jets To Feature Stand-Up Cabins
At the NBAA Convention last month, Brazilian manufacturer Embraer introduced concept studies for two new clean-sheet business jets in the form of a midsize (MSJ) aircraft and a “mid-light” (MLJ) model (see story on page 1). A full-size cabin mockup
Embraer’s Lineage 1000 “ultra-large” business jet is on display at NBAA (Booth No. 3737) in the form of a cabin mockup built by PATS Aircraft (Booth No. 2857). The Lineage 1000 is the executive/VIP version of the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer’s E-195 airliner. PATS, a division of DeCrane Aerospace, has been selected to do the aircraft interiors, and the first Lineage is scheduled to arrive next month at its Georgetown, Del.
When a China Airlines 737NG caught fire soon after landing at Okinawa’s Naha Airport on August 20, initial suspicions centered on maintenance issues, but new developments show the problem might be more widespread than first considered. Investigators discovered that a loose bolt in the leading-edge slat track assembly–believed to have been missing a washer–pierced the wing fuel tank, allowing fuel to escape.
After celebrating its 10th year with record sales of 19 aircraft, Boeing Business Jets has logged 30 sales since last year’s NBAA Convention, said Steve Hill, BBJ president, at a press conference here in the Georgia World Congress Center on Monday. Total value of the orders increased from $2.25 billion last year to $2.9 billion this year. Included in this total are 16 BBJs, two BBJ2s, three BBJ3s, two 747-8 VIPs and seven 787 VIPs.
It took a couple of years longer than expected, but operators of the Hawker 800 might find the wait has been worthwhile. After three years of work, Aviation Partners last month finally obtained an STC for its performance-enhancing blended winglets for the Hawker 800 series.