1. Business Aviation: The Unfair Advantage

    August 11, 2012 by admin

    Betsy Donnelly, Business Aviation

    What was once used only in extraordinary circumstances or by top global companies has today become a business necessity. If you charter, lease or own an aircraft, you already understand that Business Aviation — also called General Aviation — is as indispensable as your cell phone and your laptop. For those companies that don’t use Business Aviation, read on to discover why it’s an invaluable business tool in order to survive — and thrive — in today’s tough economic climate.

    Only about 3 percent of the approximately 15,000 business aircraft registered in the U.S. are flown by America’s largest and most well-known companies, while the remaining 97 percent are operated by a broad cross-section of organizations, including governments, universities, charitable organizations and businesses — large, medium and small. And that 97% represents the vibrant heartbeat of what keeps American business humming… or in this case, flying.

    Whether it’s moving a team of technicians from one plant to another or bringing clients in for a presentation, companies of all sizes and in all industries are counting on business aviation to compete in their specific markets. As a result, business aviation is saving companies money by eliminating the “down time” and frustrations associated with commercial air travel.

    Beechcraft 2000 Starship (Photo credit: Paul Bowen)

    “Because there isn’t enough time in the day as it is, relying on a business aircraft helps companies take advantage of the time they do have,” says Kim Showalter, President of Showalter Flying Service in Orlando.

    Companies are taking to heart the old adage “time is money” as they seek increased productivity and profitability, while providing healthier, happier work environments for their employees. And they’ve found several instances where business aircraft accomplishes both — such as when a sales team has several places to go in a short amount of time, when more than one employee is traveling on the same itinerary, when their destination isn’t a major airline hub, or when airline schedules simply don’t fit the company work schedule.

    For most companies, cost was the major stumbling block to using business aviation services in the past. But that argument is no longer valid, says Showalter. Businesses that rely on their own aircraft have done comparison studies to determine its cost versus the combined cost of commercial air travel, including airfares, overnight expenses for hotels and meals, car rentals, and, most importantly, the value of an executive’s time on the road and away from home and family. ”Those costs add up,” adds Showalter. “Businesses are finally realizing it’s more cost-effective to have their employees working instead of waiting for delayed or canceled flights.”

    Less time at airline terminals is scoring big points with employees, too, who are eating more meals at home and fewer at the airport. Business aviation actually gives business travelers the freedom to go where they want, when they want. And with the trend in business to decentralize from major cities, that’s important. Today, if your business destination isn’t a major commercial airline hub, it takes you twice as long to reach it.

    Aside from the ease in scheduling, users of business aviation are exposed to fewer travel hassles. The walk from the ramp to the luggage carousel to the taxi stand becomes obsolete, as does lost luggage and cramped quarters on board.

    “Many companies actually conduct business or staff meetings in the air when traveling by business aviation,” Showalter says.

    Business aircraft generally take the form of single- or twin-engine pistons, turboprops, or corporate jets, and can accommodate as few as four or as many as 24 passengers. While the commercial airlines have access to only 500 airports, business aviation aircraft can take off and land at more than 5,000 facilities around the country — 10 times more than are available to commercial airliners.

    “Business aviation has simply become a way of life for the successful, thriving businesses of today,” Showalter says. “From the boardroom to the accounting department, it’s the most efficient business travel alternative available.”

  2. 15 Business Jets That Shaped the Industry

    by admin

    Business Jet Traveler » August 2012
    by Matt Thurber

    Business jets have improved enormously in the past 50 years, from gas-guzzling go-getters to today’s highly efficient, long-legged luxury liners and tiny personal jets.

    During the first half-century of the business jet industry, manufacturers tried out a variety of types and configurations. Many failed, but many others have endured in derivative and upgraded versions. What will be interesting to observe in the coming decades is whether business jet manufacturers continue to innovate, not just in cabin and cockpit appointments where technology changes rapidly, but in basic configuration and in engine and aerodynamic development.

    In chronological order, based on when production began, here are 15 aircraft models that played a key role in shaping today’s business aviation environment:

    1. Lockheed Jetstar (1961 – 1978)

    Such a heritage, born from Kelly Johnson’s famed Lockheed Skunkworks, but such a heavy, large and fuel-swallowing four-engine beast. If any business jet was the originator of the pejorative “royal barge,” surely it was the Jetstar. Even upgrades to more efficient engines couldn’t keep this incredible machine, one of the progenitors of the business jet age (and, many claim, the first business jet) going indefinitely, although a handful still fly. An excellent example of a Jetstar II is Elvis Presley’s 1975 model, on display at Graceland.

    2. Sabreliner (1963 – 1983)

    Few out-of-production jets are as well-supported as the Sabreliner series, which enjoys the attention of Sabreliner Corporation, whose programs are designed to keep the airframe healthy for years to come. Sabreliner’s own corporate aircraft is serial number 001, the first Sabre jet to roll off the assembly line, which has been updated with all the current modifications. Pilots love Sabre jets, which North American Aviation originally built for an Air Force contract, and the efficient Garrett (now Honeywell) TFE731-powered Sabre 65 kept the production line going until 1983.

    3. De Havilland Hawker 125 (1964 to present)

    The British Aerospace/Hawker Siddeley HS.125 family–now built by Hawker Beechcraft, although Airbus makes the major components–has been in production longer than any other business jet airframe. Will the Hawker 900XP survive Hawker Beechcraft’s financial troubles and keep the storied Hawker line in production? Time will tell.

    4. Israel Aircraft Industries Jet (1965 -1987)

    Commander/Westwind I and II ungainly looking and lacking in sporty attributes, the Westwind nevertheless is an efficient 10-passenger jet, something that wasn’t readily available in a smaller jet when it joined the market in 1965.

    5. Dassault Falcon 20 (1965 – 1988)

    The eight-passenger Falcon 20 firmly established Dassault Aviation in the ranks of business jet manufacturers. With a production run of 473 (includes the Falcon 200), the model served a huge variety of missions and hundreds of these reasonably priced excellent performers continue to fly.

    6. Lear 24 (1966 – 1979)

    The Lear 23 launched Bill Lear’s manufacturing company into the business jet age, but the Lear 24 and subsequent models really paved the way to success. The Lear 23 was certified under simpler FAA Part 23 regulations applying to lighter airplanes–sort of like today’s very light jets–but the Lear 24 became the first business jet to meet more stringent Part 25 regulations (and the first to be certified to 51,000 feet), and that firmed up the company’s status as a real contender.

    7. Gulfstream GII (1967 – 1977)

    Who knew way back that large-cabin business jets would be the best performers during the dreadful recent recession? Grumman’s move to turn the turboprop GI into a jet was stupendously prescient and it launched a long line of big-iron airplanes, but it was Allen Paulson’s purchase of the jet program in 1978 and formation of Gulfstream Aerospace that truly unlocked the value of the Gulfstream line.

    8. Cessna Citation 500/I (1969 – 1985)

    Designing and building a new jet was a bold move for a company that was far more focused on its piston airplane bread and butter and solid but unexciting twin turboprops. The original Citation–not fast, not sexy, but solid, reliable and almost as easy to fly as any Cessna–paid off handsomely, spawning a famous family of jets filling almost every available market niche, and some niches that no one previously even knew existed.

    9. Gulfstream GV (1997 – 2002)

    The GV is the airplane that spurred the ultra-long-range, large-cabin market and became the glitterati’s preferred mode of transport. The cabin wasn’t really wider than the GII’s, but Gulfstream is fixing that with the upcoming G650 (it’s not a G6!). Of course, the original V lives on as the 500/550 model.

    10. Cessna Citation X (1996 to present)

    This speedy jet isn’t much bigger than some other Citation models, but for travelers who like to get there now, the Rolls-Royce-powered X does the job at a smooth Mach .92 (600 mph). Who said Cessna can’t build a fast jet? And the follow-on Citation Ten, with more powerful engines and winglets, will fly even faster.

    11. Bombardier Global family (1999 to present)

    Bombardier couldn’t sit still and allow Gulfstream to capture the ultra-long-range, large-cabin jet market by itself with the GV, and thus the Global Express was born. It offered a huge, wide cabin; a complex airliner-style supercritical wing that delivered impressive short-runway performance; and range sufficient to provide a clear alternative to the GV. Now the Global family has grown to four versions, two in production (5000, 6000) and two in development (7000, 8000), with range in nautical miles roughly corresponding to the model number

    12. Beechcraft Premier I (2001 – 2005)

    The first successful business jet with an all-composite fuselage (and some composites forming the tailfeathers). Beech Aircraft (later Raytheon Aircraft, now Hawker Beechcraft) spent tens of millions of dollars on the failed all-composite Starship twin-turboprop, but that experience paid off when it came to the clean-sheet-design Premier twinjet, which was flyable by a single pilot and considered by many to be a high-performing small jet. Sadly, the Hawker 200 upgrade of the Premier is on hold as Hawker Beechcraft fights for survival.

    13. Eclipse 500 (2006 – 2008)

    Eclipse Aerospace–the new owner of bankrupt Eclipse Aviation, which built 261 Eclipse 500 very light jets–has relaunched production and will deliver the first Eclipse 550 next year. Of course, plans by Eclipse and other manufacturers to “darken the skies” with very light jets never developed, but producing a new jet under today’s regulatory, financial and market constraints is a remarkable accomplishment. Plus, pilots love how the Eclipse flies, and for a tiny jet, it has a quiet and surprisingly roomy cabin.

    14. Dassault Falcon 7X (2007 to present)

    With its heritage of designing and building sophisticated military fighters, Dassault applied its engineering smarts to the fly-by-wire 7X, the world’s first non-airliner-derived dedicated business jet to feature such envelope-pushing technology. Now other manufacturers are following the lead of Dassault, which was first to demonstrate that a business aviation market exists for the benefits offered by fly-by-wire flight controls.

    15. Embraer Phenom 300 (2009 to present)

    The significance of Embraer’s rise into the business jet market, first with the airliner-derived Legacy 600, then with the clean-sheet Phenom 100 and 300, is not just that Embraer found niches unfilled by other manufacturers. What Embraer did was force other jet-makers into realizing that it was attacking their markets, and now they are fighting back with interesting new models. Meanwhile, Embraer is moving into the super-midsize category with the in-development Legacy 450 and 500, both featuring fly-by-wire flight controls and the latest cockpit and cabin amenities.

  3. Learjet, a Work in Progress

    July 22, 2012 by admin

    By William Garvey
    Source: Business & Commercial Aviation

    Much attention and commentary regarding Bombardier’s aviation interests have focused on the Canadian company’s most ambitious projects, namely its CSeries jetliner and Global 7000 and 8000 ultra-long-range business jets. For good reasons.

    The 100- to 149-seat CSeries is the largest aircraft ever produced by Bombardier and represents a gamble that’s consuming $3.5 billion of development dollars. It is also the first Bombardier aircraft to threaten the near total market control of Boeing and Airbus.

    Thus it was no surprise when Pierre Beaudoin, president and CEO of Bombardier Inc., focused almost entirely on the CSeries during a Wings Club luncheon speech in New York early this year. “The comfortable days of duopolies in commercial and regional aircraft are over,” he said.

    “Some may believe that re-engined aircraft with a 20-year-old design will be good enough,” he continued, taking a sideswipe at the heavy selling A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX. “We believe that ‘good enough’ is not what operators expect or need.”

    Two weeks after Beaudoin’s speech, NetJets announced a firm order for 50 Global 5000, 6000, 7000 and 8000 business jets, with options for another 70. Should all options be exercised, the total retail price would exceed $6.7 billion. It touted the sale as “the largest aircraft purchase agreement in the history of private aviation.”

    The first of the ultra-Globals, the 7000, is to enter service in 2016. The development of those top-of-the-line models, along with the Global Vision Flight Deck and the CSeries, consume a good chunk of the $1 billion to $1.5 billion Bombardier Aerospace President and CEO Guy Hachey says his company has been investing annually in R&D.

    With two such high-profile and high-cost programs under way involving high-ticket airplanes, an OEM could be expected to ease up elsewhere, particularly if involved in the light jet business, a market segment that crashed four years ago and remains depressingly down. However, Bombardier has chosen quite another course and actually appears to be investing more in Learjet than at any time since it acquired the line from its bankrupt owner in 1990.

    The company is now at work on three Learjet models. There’s the Model 85, launched in 2007 and at 66 ft. long with a double-club cabin, the largest aircraft to bear the Lear marque. And, announced at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) in May, the Model 70 and 75. While the latter two are upgrades of the current 40XR and 45XR, the 85 is an all-new design with all-composite construction, a first for Bombardier.

    Compared to the models they will succeed, the six-passenger Model 70 and eight-passenger Model 75 will feature more thrust, improved takeoff performance, faster climb-to-cruise, better fuel efficiency and lower operating costs. They will be powered by 3,850-lb.-thrust Honeywell TFE731-40BR turbofans, have Bombardier’s signature Vision cockpit layout with three-screen Garmin G5000 avionics and sport canted winglets. The two are priced at $11.1 million and $13.5 million, respectively.
    With its stand-up, 6 ft., 1 in.-wide cabin, the Model 85 is not only the largest Lear ever, its Mach 0.82 high-speed cruise and 3,000-nm range will make it the fastest and longest-legged one as well. Powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307B turbofans rated at 6,100 lb. thrust, and featuring a three-screen Vision cockpit with Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics, the aircraft lists for $19.66 million.

    While Bombardier doesn’t disclose its investment in any particular aircraft development program, the amount of money needed to bring the Model 85 to life is obviously formidable. First, there was the construction of a 185,000-sq.-ft. production facility in Querétaro, Mexico, plus equipping it with composite tooling, where about 85% of the aircraft will be manufactured.

    Then there’s the rejuvenation and expansion of Learjet’s home at Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport where the aircraft will be flight tested, assembled, completed, painted and delivered. Bombardier’s investment in Wichita goes well beyond accommodating the Model 85 and includes expanding the company’s flight test center, establishing an engineering and information technology hub, and building a new paint facility and customer delivery facilities.

    All totaled, the new jet and the facilities expansion, the largest in Learjet’s history, represents an investment of more than $600 million, including grants and financial incentives from the state, county and federal governments. In 2010, Kansas offered $27 million in bond financing to help secure Bombardier’s commitment to the Wichita site and the 450 new jobs it represents; this past January, the state approved another $16 million in bonds for the project.

    Considering that Learjet has been particularly hard hit by the light jet recession — it delivered just 46, 28 and 43 airplanes in 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively — that still shows little signs of improvement, Bombardier’s investment in the division is notable.

    “It’s been a long, long time since Learjet has seen this level of transformation and excitement,” said Ralph Acs, vice president and general manager. “The market is tough,” he acknowledged, “but that doesn’t mean you don’t invest. We prefer to be bold” by investing in new models, infrastructure and personnel. “We feel good about that,” he said.

    — William Garvey

  4. Forecasts Point to Continued, Gradual Business Aviation Growth

    by admin

    Even amidst a slowing global economy and a financial crisis in the European Union, most forecasters remain optimistic, predicting a gradual, but sustained period of business aviation market growth lasting well into the next decade.

    For example, in June, Bombardier Aerospace issued its annual 20-year forecast for the industry. While the company expects business jet deliveries in 2012 to equal last year’s numbers, it predicts that a sustained period of growth will begin in 2013, with roughly 24,000 business jet deliveries, valued at $648 billion, expected from 2012 to 2031.

    Bombardier said most of that growth will occur in North America, where new business jet deliveries will reach about 9,500 units, followed by Europe with 3,920 deliveries. Bombardier predicts that China will become the third-largest business aviation market, with aircraft deliveries expected to total about 2,420 units in the 2012-2031 period.

    Bombardier joins a number of other companies that over the last six months have forecast growth for business aviation starting this year. Among them is Teal Group, which is holding true to its most recent forecast issued in April. The firm looks for a decade of growth to begin in the second half of 2012, according to Richard Aboulafia, Teal’s vice president of analysis.

    Teal forecasts deliveries of 10,249 traditional business jets worth $249.5 billion; 568 corporate aircraft and regional jets valued at a combined total of $42.3 billion and 3,062 business turboprops between 2012-2021. It predicts the industry will grow by 6 percent this year and 8 percent next year, followed by four years of much stronger 12-percent annual growth starting in 2014.

    Meanwhile, business aviation market analyst Brian Foley, of Brian Foley Associates, is more sanguine about the industry’s prospects in 2012 and long term.

    “There’s a lot of impatience, and understandably so, for things to have measurably improved by now,” said Foley. “However, the industry seems to be forgetting that historically the business cycle has averaged five years up and five years down. Normally, we’d still have another year to go before expecting the next up-cycle.”

    Nonetheless, there are signs that the business aviation market improved through the first quarter of 2012 and into the second. In June, Cincinnati-based ARGUS International Inc. reported that the aircraft charter market posted its first increase in activity in more than a year in May 2012 as flight activity increased 3.5 percent overall from April 2012. Looking at the various categories, Part 135 charter activity rose by 5.3 percent in May, while Part 91 activity rose by 3.9 percent. The Part 91K segment posted a 1-percent decline, according to the company’s ARGUS TRAQPak report. Year-over-year, overall business aircraft activity was up by 1.9 percent.

    Also in June, the business aviation market research firm JetNet said inventories of available pre-owned business jets fell to 13.6 percent of the total market in April, a 0.7 percent decline from the 14.3 percent market of April 2011. Business jet transactions also increased by 4.1 percent in the first four months of 2012, while prices were generally flat, posting a negligible 0.1 percent increase.

    The for-sale inventory of turboprops declined 1.3 percent from a year earlier to 9.2 percent, while turboprop sales rose by 3.1 percent in April.

  5. China’s Soaring Private Jet Market

    April 4, 2012 by admin

    Beijing, March 27 : China’s private jet market will continue its robust growth this year, industry experts said Monday.

    Paris-based Dassault Aviation said it predicted robust growth in China, with the number of business jets it operates in the country is expected to rise to 24 by the end of the year, tripling the current figure.

    Dassault said China had overtaken the US and Europe to become its top market in sales last year.

    Dassault is among a handful of businesses attending the three-day Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (ABACE) starting Tuesday in Shanghai.

    The event is sponsored by the US National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the Asian Business Aviation Association, Xinhua reported.

    NBAA CEO Ed Bolen said the market potential for business jets in China is huge and Shanghai, in particular, is expected to become a centre for the global business aviation sector.

    He said the ABACE air show will be held in Shanghai for five straight years from 2012 to 2016.

    China has witnessed a boom in the business aviation market over the past few years. The number of business jets registered in the country surged to 132 last year, a steep rise from only 32 in 2008.

    The time for business jet flight application had also been reduced from seven days to just one.

    In Shanghai, a one-stop business jet service centre was set up in 2010, capable of serving 6,000 business jet flights a year.

    Previously, business jets in the Asian-Pacific region were mostly maintained in Singapore.

    Shanghai’s airports handled about one-third of China’s business jet flights in 2011 and the percentage is expected to further grow by 10 to 15 percent this year, said Jing Yiming, deputy executive of Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Center, one of the leading aircraft service companies.

    Shanghai will witness the take-off of China’s business aviation in the future with the city’s growing prominence in the country and the region’s economic growth, Jing said. (IANS)

  6. A Medical Safety Net for World Travelers

    by admin

    MedAire provides medical and health services for travelers, both in flight and on the ground. At the ABACE show in Shanghai, visitors can get a complete picture of the medical support, plus safety and travel advice that the company provides both in person and via its Web portal. They can also take away a copy of its HealthMap 2012, a large wall map of the world, which shows health-risk levels by country, as well as the locations of the company’s numerous bases across Asia, Europe and the Americas.

    Acquired in 2008 by International SOS, which has facilities in more than 70 countries (including China), MedAire provides medical training for flight crews, on-board medical equipment, on-the-ground medical and security assistance and a 24/7 telemedicine service, which is staffed by emergency-room doctors. It is credited with establishing the world’s first global emergency response center for the aviation industry, and provides immediate, real-time medical and safety assistance to people in remote locations, whether in the air, on land or at sea.

    According to the Kenneth Low, MedAire general manager, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, MedAire currently serves more than 2,500 aviation clients worldwide. In China, MedAire works with both business aviation and airlines, including Air China, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Hainan Airlines.

    “Asia is a very strong market for us, as our clients are traveling farther and exploring new market opportunities,” Low said. “MedAire membership provides executives the peace of mind that they have medical and safety assistance, no matter where they travel.”

    Recognizing the value of MedAire’s services, several business aircraft manufacturers provide MedAire subscriptions and equipment to a customer who buys an airplane. The subscriptions and equipment vary among manufacturers and are based on their aircraft. The subscription provided by an aircraft manufacturer can range from one to five years, after which owners and operators have the option to renew.

    Gulfstream Aerospace, which has sold more than 58 business jets in China, includes MedAire’s services as standard on some of its models. Its long-range G550, for example, comes with a five-year MedLink subscription. Gulfstream was one of the first manufacturers to include defibrillators on its own corporate and demonstrator aircraft and now includes these items on every large-cabin aircraft, according to MedAire.

    Boeing included MedLink, a medical kit, a defibrillator and crew training and with the eight Boeing Business Jets it sold to Chinese buyers over the past four years. Bombardier offers MedLink on its entire fleet of business aircraft, including the Global Express, Challenger 604 and Learjets. Hawker Beechcraft provides MedAire’s medical services on every aircraft the company sells.

    Embraer offers MedAire’s services as standard equipment onboard its Legacy business jets. Embraer is also the first jet manufacturer to make MedAire’s online security and travel alerts a part of the program.

    International SOS Services in China

    MedAire’s presence in China dates back to 1989, when International SOS established an operational office in Beijing. International SOS, which has dual headquarters in London and Singapore, also has offices in Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Shanghai. And the company operates five clinics in China, in Beijing, Tianjin, Tianjin-TEDA and Nanjing. The TEDA clinic officially opened in February this year. If MedAire members need “on the ground” support, the broader International SOS network enhances MedAire’s services throughout delivery.

    Clients of MedAire can access family-practice services, emergency medical services and a range of clinical services through a network of providers that is unparalleled in China today, said Low.

    The support network also includes alarm centers in Beijing and Hong Kong. “Each alarm center provides 24-hour hotline services to all members when they are in China,” Low explained. “Any problem, from lost luggage to a serious medical condition, can be reported to the alarm center, where multilingual coordinators and doctors are on duty to respond to all types of emergencies.”

    International SOS has “developed a network of hospitals, airlines and local authorities so that we can deliver a fast and efficient response,” he said. “Through this network we support the medical staff, equipment and facilities that we provide to our clients at remote sites.”

    What Is a MedLink Subscription?

    A MedLink subscription is one of the features of MedAire membership. Members have access to a 24/7 medical response center staffed by emergency room doctors. If any medical situation arises during a flight, members are encouraged to call MedLink to speak with a doctor for treatment advice and recommendations.

    Should additional on-the-ground treatment be required, membership provides referrals to pre-screened medical facilities at the member’s destination.

    Membership also provides access to the MedAire Portal, where travelers can view medical and travel information for more than 200 countries. Members can upload their medical history and documents for instant access when traveling, as well as schedule a Trip Watch, if concerned about the health of a fellow traveler.

    Other benefits of MedAire membership include: referrals to credentialed local medical providers on the ground; guaranteed payment of authorized medical fees on their behalf; arrangements for medical transportation or evacuation; advice regarding lost travel documents; referrals for legal assistance; access to International SOS clinics open to the public; and communication with family and/or company during a medical incident.

  7. Cessna Citation Ten Jet Prototype Makes First Flight Today

    January 24, 2012 by admin

    Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, said the Citation Ten prototype made its first flight today. The flight lasted more than two hours and included tests of stability and control, handling qualities, functional operations including the autopilot and autothrottle system, engine operability and avionics before landing at Wichita, KS Mid-Continent Airport (ICT) where Cessna’s main manufacturing facility is located.

    “It took a significant amount of work by a large number of people to get us to this milestone today and I am happy to report that the aircraft performed exceptionally well and handling characteristics were excellent, just as predicted,” said Michael Voigt, Cessna’s engineering test pilot who flew the Ten prototype. “All systems functioned as expected including the Garmin G5000 avionics system. We are looking forward to a successful flight test program and FAA certification.”

    Federal Aviation Administration type certification is on track for mid-2013 with first aircraft deliveries planned for the second half of 2013. “Our first flight, today, was a great success. We have a great team working on this project and I know they will take this dominant aircraft up a notch,” said Kelly Reich, business leader for the Cessna Citation X and Ten.

    The Ten is a mid-size aircraft with updated design and performance, enabling it to get to altitude faster and travel farther than the Citation X (Model 750). First announced at the 2010 NBAA convention, the Citation Ten is designed for greater fuel efficiency and increased comfort for up to nine passengers and two pilots.

    Two Rolls-Royce AE 3007C2 engines will take a 36,600 pound (16,601 kilogram) MTOW Citation Ten off the ground in 5,150 feet (1,569 meters) and give the aircraft a maximum cruise speed of 527 knots an hour (977 kilometers) and a certified ceiling of 51,000 feet (15,545 meters). The Ten has a maximum range of 3,242 nautical miles (6,008 kilometers), putting city pairings such as New York-London, Boston-San Francisco, London-Dubai and Miami-Seattle within convenient one-hop flights.

    The Ten is 15 inches longer than the Citation X, providing extra passenger legroom in the forward club seating area. A new Ten mock-up was debuted at the 2011 NBAA convention with a fresh new interior color scheme, though customers are able to choose the interior stylings that best fit their needs and personality.

    Also featuring Clairity™, Cessna’s proprietary cabin technology solution, the Ten delivers ultimate touch-screen control to the passenger, maximizing the digital entertainment experience from web to movies to moving maps. One convenient panel at each seat provides connections for personal electronic devices.

    The Garmin G5000 integrated flight deck is one of the most intuitive pilot-aircraft interfaces ever seen in a business avionics suite. The high-resolution multi-function displays have split-screen capability, allowing continuous monitoring of engine, flight control, hydraulic and electrical systems. Garmin’s SVT synthetic vision technology on the primary flight displays gives the crew a virtual reality view of runways, terrain, traffic and obstacles. Electronic charts with aircraft position overlay provide dynamic situational awareness during approach.

    A video highlighting the Citation Ten’s features can be viewed on Cessna’s YouTube channel. Visit our gallery of Citation Ten images.


  8. New Sikorsky S-76D Headed to Market

    October 13, 2011 by admin

    Sikorsky is displaying its third development S-76D at Heli-Expo in Orlando, using the still-unflown aircraft to demonstrate the upgraded helicopter’s new Thales-developed integrated flight-deck.

    Announced at Heli-Expo in 2005, the S-76D is moving out of its protracted development phase and into certification flight-test and low-rate production. Initial certification is expected by year-end, with deliveries to begin in the first quarter of 2012—a four-year delay.

    Photos: Sikorsky

    The D model is a major upgrade to the S-76, more than 800 of which have been delivered since it first flew in 1977. With more-powerful engines, improved rotor and integrated avionics, the S-76D is designed to combine the single-engine performance of the corporate-preferred S-76B with the cruise fuel-efficiency of the offshore-favored S-76C.

    “We get the power of the B with the efficiency of the C family, which is attractive from an operating cost perspective,” says Tim Fox, S-76 senior program manager. Increased power and rotor lift improve hot-and-high performance, dual-speed rotors reduce noise and a rotor ice protection system allows the D to operate in more challenging environments.

    “We have power, performance, best-in-class fuel burn, and the D is extremely quiet for its size,” he says. Priced about the same as a similarly equipped C++, the D can lift 1,000lb more and fly 400nm versus 375. These improvements will allow Sikorsky to offer a single model across markets that previously were segmented, Fox says.

    “The D gives us openings into new markets and areas of the world, hotter environments where the C could not operate and the B had the power, but not the specific fuel consumption,” says David Franc, S-76 marketing manager. Improved high-altitude performance opens up VIP and EMS markets such as Denver and Mexico City, while “we can go further offshore with greater launch reliability”.

    Photos: Sikorsky

    Powered by a pair of digitally controlled, 1,050-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210S turboshafts, the D model introduces flaw-tolerant all-composite blades, a Thales TopDeck cockpit with large-format displays and four-axis autopilot, and optional electrically deiced rotors that allow flight into known icing. Active vibration control and health and usage monitoring systems are standard.

    After the delays, caused by unexpected and unspecified discoveries during development, the S-76D is on track to meet its performance targets. “Shake-down tests identified weaknesses, which we have fixed,” says Fox, adding “the helicopter is quieter than predicted, rotor lift is slightly greater than predicted and fuel efficiency is on plan.”

    Two prototypes, D1 and D2, have logged more than 300hr since the first flight in February 2009, with certification testing getting under way in November 2010. The third aircraft, D3, will join the 750hr. flight-test program later this year, tasked with avionics certification. D1 is moving into powerplant certification from system development, and D2 into performance testing from avionics and autopilot development.

    S-76 airframes are manufactured in the Czech Republic by Aero Vodochody and in China by Changhe Aircraft Industries. Aero delivered the first production S-76D airframe to Sikorsky’s final-assembly plant in Coatesvillle, Pa., in December and, with the last S-76C++ to be delivered this December, Changhe is expected to transition to the new model late this year. “We envision dual-sourcing on the D, but this is to be worked out,” says Fox.

  9. Business Jet Industry May Emerge Stronger Than Ever

    by admin

    By Molly McMillin

    http://www.kansas.com

    Last month’s wild swings in the stock market and the overall economic uncertainty is a short-term blip to the business jet industry and not a precursor to another industry free fall, aviation analysts say.

    The stock market recently whipsawed as it responded to the political debate about the nation’s debt and the country’s credit downgrade. The Dow Jones industrial average had four 400-point swings in a row for the first time in its 115-year history. That volatility may result in a short period of slower sales for some business jet manufacturers, said Brian Foley, aviation consultant with Brian Foley Associates. But it also could lead to stronger demand down the road, he said.

    “That means when the true recovery does take hold, it will have much more momentum,” Foley said. “There’s just so much pent-up demand out there from aircraft sales to maintenance services that people have been putting off.”

    Manufacturers and their order books are stronger today than they were three years ago when the market plunged during the recession and buyers canceled droves of orders.

    Their order books are of a higher caliber than they were before the downturn, Foley said. “Gone are the speculators and those that qualified for aircraft financing simply because they were breathing.”

  10. Bio-Jet Fuel Takes to the Skies

    by admin

    Embraer and GE held a series of test flights this week, with an EMBRAER 170 jet flying from the Company’s Gavião Peixoto facilities. The purpose of the tests was to benchmark the operational characteristics of the airplane and its GE CF34-8E engines when powered by HEFA (Hydro-processed Esters and Fatty Acids) fuel under a broad range of unique flight conditions. The flights involved powering one of the two GE engines with the maximum ASTM permissible mix of 50% HEFA (derived from camelina) with Jet-A.

    Following the recent approval of biomass-based HEFA fuels by ASTM, Embraer and GE have stepped up their efforts with the objective of supporting the development of a broader range of sustainable biofuels for aviation. With these tests, both companies confirmed that technical plans and procedures for future fuels testing are robust, enabling value-added and timely testing of additional fuels.

    “We have a strong and longstanding commitment to developing efficient and environmentally responsible products. This series of tests, and their very positive results, gives us a lot of new information to continue our sustainability program as it relates to future products,” said Mauro Kern, Embraer Executive Vice President of Engineering and Technology. “Supporting the development and deployment of sustainable aviation biofuels is one of the industry’s top priorities, and we are firmly engaged in that effort.”