Boeing Adds To Bizjet Line »

Boeing will expand its line of 737-based business jets with the BBJ Max 8 and the BBJ Max 9, the company announced at the NBAA Convention in Orlando this week. The Max 8 will use CFM International's new Leap-1B engines and Boeing's new two-surface winglet for a 13-percent boost in fuel efficiency. The changes also will increase range by 14 percent, to 6,325 nm. The Max 9 plan is still in the works, but "similar performance improvements are anticipated," Boeing said. More

Bigger Is Better: Honeywell Forecast »

The business jet market will grow over the next few years, but most of that growth will continue to be at the high end of the market, according to a news release on the Honeywell Business Aircraft Outlook released on the eve of NBAA 2012 in Orlando. Honeywell forecasts about 10,000 new bizjets worth a total of about $250 billion over the next 10 years. Honeywell says globalization is driving the market for longer-range aircraft and physics dictate that the farther a plane has to fly, the bigger it has to be. "The trend toward larger-cabin aircraft with ever-increasing range expectations and advanced avionics continues to be reflected in this year's survey," said Rob Wilson, president, Honeywell Business and General Aviation. More

Embraer: Legacy 500 First Flight Near »

Embraer said at the NBAA convention in Orlando this week that its first prototype of the Legacy 500 midsize jet will be ready for first flight within the next few weeks. The all-new jet is aimed to fill the gap between the light Phenom models and the big-cabin 600 and 650. The jet, with a stand-up cabin that seats 12, can fly at Mach .82 for 3,000 nm. The company has two other prototypes in the works for the flight-test program and said first deliveries of the jet will take place in 2014. More

NBAA Offers Scholarships, New Private Pilot Awards »

At its annual convention in Orlando on Monday, NBAA said that starting next year, it will for the first time recognize private pilots for outstanding safe-flying achievement. NBAA has recognized safe flying every year since 1953 with awards to business aviation operators and individuals who fly accident-free. The new Private Pilot Safety Award will recognize safety accomplishments by operators of light business aircraft who fly with a private pilot certificate. The association also will bestow this week a number of scholarships to help young people pursue careers in business aviation. More

Gulfstream: More Range For G650 »

Gulfstream said at NBAA's Annual Meeting and Convention in Orlando on Monday that its ultra-large-cabin G650, which was FAA certified last month, will have longer range at high speeds and shorter takeoff distances than formerly announced. The aircraft's range at its high-speed cruise of Mach 0.90 is now 6,000 nautical miles, the company said. The original target was 5,000 nm. The change means a 6,000-nm mission flown by the G650 at Mach 0.90 would be 40 minutes faster than the same mission flown by a G550, said Pres Henne, senior vice president for engineering at Gulfstream. More

Cessna Updates Citation Sovereign »

Cessna brought the new version of its Citation Sovereign business jet to NBAA in Orlando this week, with a Garmin G5000 avionics suite and new Pratt & Whitney PW306D engines. Like other newer Citation models, the New Sovereign will have winglets. The upgrades will boost the range by 150 nm, for a total range of 3,000 nm, and Cessna says short-runway performance is also improved. Production has already begun on the new model, Cessna said, with first deliveries expected in the third quarter of next year. More

Beechcraft Eyeing New Turboprop Single »

Beechcraft Corporation is hoping to build a new big turboprop single as it emerges from bankruptcy, abandons jet production and focuses on the turboprop and military side of its current operations, following the collapse of a takeover bid by China-owned Superior Air Parts. In a wide-ranging news conference at NBAA 2012 in Orlando on Monday, Beech officials announced that the company will continue to support almost 30,000 jets in the field and continue with retrofit programs to modernize them. He also said the company is entertaining offers from a variety of potential suitors, some of which would resume production of some jet models and others that would just assume the support function. The focus on new product development will be on prop-driven aircraft, including the as-yet unnamed turbine single. In a podcast interview , Beech VP Shawn Vick said the turboprop will use the Premier fuselage that will allow executive club seating for eight or a high-density configuration for up to 11 passengers. There are also plans for an unpressurized utility version that can operate from unimproved fields. Vick said the piston line will be retained but there could be some kerosene in its future. More

Kit Association Responding To NTSB »

The Aircraft Kit Industry Association (AKIA) officially organized at AirVenture 2012, affirming its role as a proactive voice to address safety issues, expanding membership, and moving to establish itself as a legal entity. AKIA emerged following a recent NTSB report that focussed on the lagging experimental amateur built aircraft safety record. Its mission is to represent and support the kit industry, from manufacturers to supporters, offering a unified voice that promotes the industry and enhances safety. The group is headed by its president, Dick VanGrunsven, of Van's Aircraft, and worked this week to establish relationships with EAA, AOPA, FAA, NTSB, GAMA, NBAA, HAI, and LAMA. In general aviation, the kit segment holds the highest percentage of fatalities. Said VanGrunsven, "We have to get involved." More

Nextant 400XT: "New" At Half The Cost Of New »

Nextant Aerospace says it's found the sweet spot between a good used airplane and a new one with its "remanufactured" version of the Beechjet, or Beech 400A or 400XP. The company says the original airframe, stripped of anything with a life limit (the airframe doesn't have a life limit) and rebuilt with all-new modern components represents one of the best bargains on the light jet market. At $4-5 million, depending on options, West Coast Director of Sales John Frevola said there is nothing on the new aircraft market that can touch it in terms of performance and range. During a demo flight at NBAA in Las Vegas he said the aircraft is faster, has more range and lower operating costs than new airplanes that cost twice as much. "This airplane is 88 percent new. The only thing that isn't is basically the airframe. More

The HondaJet Delay »

Honda will delay until mid-2013 delivery of its HondaJet after a current test version of its GE Honda Aero HF120 engine suffered minor damage and a slight loss of thrust during an on-ground ice ingestion test, according to the company. The redesign work will push certification of the engine to late 2012 at the earliest, with full aircraft certification to follow. Honda says it expects a minimal impact on sales for the eight-person, $4.5 million business jet due to slow market conditions. In the U.S. there may be other unwelcome fallout as Honda Aircraft announced that expansion at its Greensboro, N.C., facility, which already employs roughly 600 employees, will take place more slowly now. More