Nextant Upgrades Its Remanufactured Jet »

Nextant Aerospace, which has been producing the 400XT remanufactured business jet since 2011, announced a major upgrade to the airplane this week at the European Business Aviation Conference and Exposition, in Geneva, Switzerland. The 400XTi features a new cabin design with extra headroom and shoulder space, new acoustic insulation for reduced cabin noise, raked winglets, and auto-throttle capability to lessen pilot workload and improve fuel economy. The aircraft is a completely rebuilt Beechjet 400A/XP with Williams FJ44-3AP engines and Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics. The new model is offered at about $5 million. More

U.S. Companies Explore Asian Markets At ABACE »

The airplane industry is eager to push into emerging markets, and that's evident this week with robust attendance at the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition, taking place in Shanghai Tuesday through Thursday. Organizers said they had registered a record 6,284 people to attend the event, with more than 180 exhibitors on site and 34 aircraft on static display. "The record numbers signify the excitement surrounding business aviation in the region," said NBAA in a statement. Cessna officials announced at the show on Monday they expect to be ready to start building jets and turboprops in China by the end of this year, though it may take longer for the government to approve the start of operations. More

GA Advocates Fight Sequester Impacts »

As federal agencies scramble to cope with looming federal budget cuts, GA advocacy groups are pressing to minimize the impact on flight operations. NBAA President Ed Bolen this week asked FAA officials to consider more factors than simply the total number of operations at an airport in deciding which towers will close. For example, Tracon staffers would have to handle IFR traffic into those airports, adding to their workload, Bolen said. The shutdown of 173 control towers ( PDF ) is expected on April 7, with 16 more to close on Sept. 30. The FAA said it won't take any more industry input on its tower-closure plan after today, and will announce a final decision on Monday, March 18. More

Cessna Rolls Out First New Citation Sovereign »

Cessna rolled out its first New Citation Sovereign in Wichita this week, sporting new winglets and new Pratt & Whitney PW306D engines. The airplane was announced at the NBAA show in October, and is one of six new Cessna models expected to start deliveries this year. The airplane, which typically seats nine in the cabin, can fly an extra 150 nm compared to the prior model, for a total range of 3,000 nm. Cessna says short-runway performance is also improved. Type certification and first deliveries are expected this fall. More

NBAA 2012 Photo Gallery »

click for photos Photos from the convention floor at NBAA 2012 in Orlando, Florida. More

Three Rs Initiative Progresses »

AVweb 's Three Rs Initiative progressed with a meeting attended by leaders of the aircraft remanufacturing and refurbishment industry at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Orlando Wednesday. AVweb Publisher Tom Bliss took input from stakeholders at this and earlier meetings and what's emerging is a standards organization that will set criteria for quality refurbishment of aircraft that have plenty of life left in them. "I see this not as a service business," Bliss said. "I see this as a remanufacturing business." More

Kestrel Selects Cox De-Icer »

Kestrel Aircraft's turboprop design will feature an electro-mechanical deicing system, the company announced this week at the NBAA Convention in Orlando. The Cox & Co. system removes ice from the leading edges with a pulsing impact delivered from channels inside the leading edges of the wings. CEO Alan Klapmeier said the system retains laminar flow over the wing while removing the ice. "This is a critical factor for achieving high speed and reducing drag and fuel consumption," he said. More

Bizav Ready To Help After Sandy »

As its members meet in sunny Orlando, NBAA is marshaling efforts to use business aircraft to help with the relief efforts in the storm-tossed Northeast. NBAA hosts the Humanitarian Emergency Response Operator (HERO) database where aircraft owners and operators can volunteer the use of their aircraft for humanitarian aid. Aid organizations use the list to find aircraft appropriate to the missions that might need to be flown. "At the moment, much like the rest of the country, we're waiting to see what the damage is and what efforts will be needed in the hours immediately following the storm's passage," Robin Eissler, president of the Sky Hope Network, told NBAA. "Our focus is specifically on life-saving flights and placing aviation assets where they are needed most." More

Aerion Enters New Test Phase »

Aerion Corporation says the next phase of testing toward its ultimate goal of facilitating the creation of a supersonic business jet will get under way at Edwards Air Force Base in November. The company will mount a prototype wing section under a NASA F-15 to see how it works. In a podcast interview at NBAA 2012 in Orlando, Aerion COO Doug Nicols said there is still plenty of interest in the aircraft and lots of work going on to make it a reality. More

HondaJet In Production »

Honda Aircraft has started production of the first customer HondaJet and will have three or four ready for delivery by the time the small jet is certified at the end of 2013. Problems with the fan blades prompted a delay in the certification of the GE Honda Aero engines that are fundamental to the efficiency of the design and set back the test schedule, but President Michimasa Fujino told a news conference on Monday at NBAA 2012 that the engine is now close to certification and the rest of the schedule is catching up. Despite the delays (certification was originally planned for late 2012) and changes in the market, Fujino was typically upbeat about the project, which is more than 25 years old. More