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

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