Embraer Inks 13-Jet Deal To China »

Embraer announced an order for 13 Dynasty business jets at NBAA 2011 to China's Minsheng Financial Leasing. The company had earlier this year signed a deal for up to 20 Embraer jets and the Legacy 650 order is the first stage of what both companies say will be a lasting relationship. "We hold full confidence in the prospects for Embraer's Legacy 650 in the Chinese executive aviation market, which will surely attain increasing recognition from our customers here in China," said Kong Linshan, Chairman of Minsheng Financial Leasing. The first airplane will be delivered by the end of the year. More

Eclipse To Resume Production »

Eclipse Aerospace says it's now taking orders for a new aircraft that will be based on the Eclipse 500 but offer some modern improvements. In a podcast interview at NBAA 2011 in Las Vegas, Eclipse President Mason Holland said the company hopes for first deliveries of the new Eclipse 550 in 2013 and the aircraft that's planned will set the standard for the tiny jet market. The 550 will boast an improved avionics package including auto throttles, synthetic vision, enhanced vision and a host of standard and optional improvements that will make it the most advanced light jet available. The new aircraft will sell for $2.695 million. The return to production has been made possible in large part through the partnership with Sikorsky Aircraft announced at last year's NBAA convention, which will have a key role in the resumption of production. More

Cessna's Second New NBAA Airplane: Latitude »

Cessna announced a second new design at NBAA 2011 in Las Vegas on Monday with a midsize bizjet that's between the XLS and Sovereign in size but different from both in terms of features. The Latitude was designed from the cabin out. It's large for its sector, offering a flat-floor standup (six foot) arrangement with seating for up to eight. It's 77 inches wide, the widest Cessna has ever built. It also has a full stand-up lav with sink and closet. "It's big enough to get changed in," said Cindy Halsey, who designed the cabin features. The aircraft has a 2,000-nm range and full-fuel payload of 1,000 pounds. First flight will be in 2014 and certification is planned for 2015. Price is $14.9 million. More

Sukhoi BizJet Lands Launch Customer, Comlux »

SuperJet Worldwide announced Sunday at the NBAA convention in Las Vegas that Comlux will be the launch customer for the $50 million Sukhoi Business Jet (SBJ), a version of the 100-seat Sukhoi Superjet 100. Comlux has ordered two of the fly-by-wire jets to be delivered in 2014, with options for two more. The SBJ can be built as an eight-passenger VIP transport with a 4,250-nm range. It is powered two SaM146 engines produced by Powerjet, a joint venture between Snecma and Russia's NPO Saturn. Comlux believes the jet will fill a niche between the Boeing Business Jet and Embraer Lineage 1000, a variant of the Embraer 190 regional jet. Comlux is also projecting a bullish sales outlook for the jet. More

Big Bizjet Market Booms »

Despite the general economic malaise, it's good to be Gulfstream these days. Speaking to reporters at the NBAA convention in Las Vegas on Sunday, the company's new President, Larry Flynn, said that the good times continue to roll in the big-cabin bizjet market and the future looks strong. "Businesses that were once regional are now global," Flynn said. "And their leaders need long-range transportation. They recognize Gulfstream as the leader in technology, performance and product support, and that has translated into strong sales." He said the order book is at $18 billion, including $400 million added in the second quarter of this year, and production backlog is in the "sweet spot" of 18-24 months for most models. The flagship G650 is nearing certification and will have a market niche virtually to itself for several years until Bombardier's new Global 7000 and 8000 models become available. Meanwhile, Honeywell has issued its 20th annual bizjet forecast and it's showing a little more optimism from its 2010 crystal-balling. More

Restructured Cessna Stays Course »

Cessna's new CEO is promising a "renewed focus on our propeller [aircraft] business" following a major restructuring of senior management. In his first public outing as CEO since taking over four months ago following the sudden retirement of Jack Pelton, Scott Ernest gave a generally upbeat overview of the company operations and future. In an exclusive podcast interview with AVweb , Ernest said the company will focus on its existing product line and gauge future investments according to customer demand and feedback. "We're going to continue to invest in our product," Ernest said. Among the targets for that investment could be alternative fuels aircraft in the piston line. More

Photos from NBAA 2010 »

Click for more photos It takes a lot of work to put together a show as large and well-organized as the National Business Aviation Association's annual convention and conference. This year, NBAA pulled it off without a hitch in Atlanta, Georgia and before we sign off and head home, here's a quick snapshot of the professionalism and effort that go into the static display area at the show (including shots of some of the show's most important airplanes). More

Sikorsky May Invest In Eclipse »

In perhaps the most surprising announcement of NBAA 2010, Sikorsky confirmed it intends to invest in Eclipse Aerospace, prompting speculation that the sometimes bizarre story of the original very light jet might have a happier than expected outcome. "This agreement in principle affords us an opportunity to invest in a great product and to further leverage our strong aftermarket and product support capabilities for fixed-wing application," Sikorsky VP Mark Cherry said in a statement. Sikorsky President Jeff Pino, incidentally, has an Eclipse and thinks highly of it . Eclipse owner Mason Holland is understandably thrilled about the recent events. More

Palmer Honored By NBAA »

A blue-chip lineup of aviation icons were on hand at the National Business Aviation Association's convention in Atlanta on Wednesday to be named Wright Brothers Master Pilots. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan, former Cessna CEO Russ Meyer, former airline pilot and aviation entrepreneur Clay Lacy and legendary golf pro and business aviation advocate Arnold Palmer received the honors from FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. Test pilot and airshow legend Bob Hoover was unable to attend. Palmer was also given NBAA's Meritorious Service to Aviation Award, the association's highest honor. Meanwhile, business aviation in general got a collective pat on the back for its huge contribution to the Haiti earthquake relief effort. More

Legacy 650 Certified In Brazil, Europe »

Embraer celebrated the European and Brazilian certification of its Legacy 650 business jet at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Atlanta on Wednesday and the company says the FAA nod is imminent. The company is showing a 13-seat version of the aircraft at Dekalb-Peachtree Airport and Luis Carlos Affonso, Embraer's Executive Vice President for business jets, told AVweb the certification came right on time. "We announced the Legacy 650 at last year's NBAA and we said that deliveries would begin in the second half of 2010," he noted. First deliveries will occur within weeks. More