Deliveries, Program Updates

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The order count tradition at shows like EBACE is still with us in the downturn but the numbers are a little more modest. Still, aircraft are moving and the Middle East appears to offer the most in the way of opportunities. Dassault announced the delivery of the first of four Falcon 7X three-engine jets to Saudi Private Aviation, the business aviation side of Saudi Arabian Airlines. The aircraft were ordered in 2007. At the other end of the spectrum, Cessna announced the sale of two Citation Mustangs to the Turkish Airlines Flight Training Academy and Embraer found a home for a Legacy 650 in Jordan. The 650 is on track for certification later this year. Meanwhile, Gulfstream announced an important couple of milestones in its latest model, also a 650.

Gulfstream is touting the G650 as the fastest business jet and it stretched the prototype's legs by hitting its designed maximum speed of Mach .925. The flight occurred over Savannah on Monday. Chief Test Pilot John O'Meara said the aircraft behaved well at almost the speed of sound. "At the conditions flown [Monday], the entire operation was flawless," he said. The aircraft has also passed load limit tests. Certification is expected in 2011 and first deliveries will be in 2012.