HondaJet Updates Program At NBAA »

HondaJet has updated and finalized the production design for the cockpit and cabin of its light jet, the company said at NBAA's Annual Convention this week. The new design incorporates the results of Honda's human-factors engineering efforts and flight-test evaluations and reflects the quality of materials, colors and finishes that will be available in delivery aircraft, the company said. HondaJet now has two conforming aircraft in its flight-test program and has started to assemble a third at its facility in Greensboro, N.C. The first conforming aircraft has been used to ground-test electrical and hydraulic systems in preparation for its first flight. The second airplane will be used for static structural stress testing. More

Aerion Completes Supersonic Flight Test Series »

Aerion Corp. is continuing to work on the design of its supersonic business jet, the company said at NBAA's Annual Convention this week. A series of flight tests this summer using a NASA F-15B at speeds up to Mach 2.0 provided data that is now being incorporated into the design of a test article for the next flight series. "Future tests will evaluate supersonic boundary layer transition properties as they relate to manufacturing standards for surface quality and assembly tolerances," said Richard Tracy, the company's chief technology officer. "Both [are] crucial to future production of Aerion's supersonic business jet." Aerion worked with NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in July and August, completing five flights to collect data on static pressure for comparison with computer models. More

NetJets Buys Up To 125 Phenom 300s »

Any doubts that Embraer will be a major player in the business aircraft market likely evaporated Monday as NetJets announced it intends to buy 125 Phenom 300 light business jets from the Brazilian planemaker. The sale may also signal some welcome stirring in the market that will lead to the first steps to recovery of the bizjet market. NetJets placed a firm order for 50 Phenoms and optioned 75. "We expect to buy all the aircraft," NetJets CEO David Sokol told a jammed news conference at Monday's NBAA press day. Sokol said the choice of the Phenom 300 was based on input from customers and the features and performance they want. More

Honeywell Predicts Bizav Rebound In 2012 »

Business aviation should begin its next period of expansion in 2012, according to the 19th annual business aviation outlook issued by Honeywell Aerospace at NBAA's Annual Convention this week. About 11,000 new business jets, valued at over $225 billion, will be delivered from this year through 2020, according to the company's analysis. "Despite a torpid recovery, there have been relatively few program cancellations and delays," said Rob Wilson, president of business and general aviation for Honeywell. "The pipeline of new high-value models supporting long-term growth remains strong.  Our survey indicates that international demand will still remain significant and contribute to longer-term growth." But in the short term, 2011 will likely be no better than this year, with an estimated 675 to 700 new business jet deliveries, Honeywell said. More

ABACE Returns In 2012 »

The Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition will return in 2012 after a three-year hiatus forced by the economic downturn. At a news conference at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Atlanta on Monday, NBAA and the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) jointly announced the resurrection of the event. The first one was held in 2004 and the 2009 meeting was cancelled because of the economic turmoil that ensued in 2008. ABACE 2012 has been scheduled for Feb. 28 -- March 1 at the Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Center at Hongqiao Airport. Although business aviation in general has suffered in the last couple of years, Asia has been one of the bright spots. More

Cessna Introduces Citation Ten »

In keeping with the large-cabin, high-speed theme of this year's National Business Aviation Association convention, Cessna's major announcement of the show is an extensive upgrade of its flagship bizjet. In fact, Cessna says the makeover of the Citation X is so complete that it considers the new model, called the Citation Ten, to be a new airplane. "The launch of the Citation Ten is an example of our commitment, repeated throughout the recent downturn, to new product development, and it's a signal that we intend to do what we need to do to maintain a general aviation industry leadership position," CEO Jack Pelton said. The Ten is about 15 inches longer than the existing model, has a new cockpit, cabin and engines and is projected to be about 19 knots faster than the X, which may allow Cessna to hang on to its claim to have the "fastest certified business jet" with a maximum cruise of just under .92 Mach. More

Business Aviation On Offensive »

Business aviation is on the offensive after spending much of the year on the ropes courtesy of the battered economy and some politically opportunistic comments by, well, politicians. During the opening general session of the National Business Aviation Association convention on Tuesday, NBAA President Ed Bolen and General Aviation Manufacturers Association President Pete Bunce gave an assessment of the battles fought in the past nine months and changing conditions that they hope will stem the damage and start healing the industry. Among the new tools that business aviation operators can tap is the Business Aircraft E-Valuation Toolkit , which is a system designed to prove the value of business aviation across the broad spectrum of companies that use it. More

NBAA Tees Up Support From Arnold Palmer »

Golf legend Arnold Palmer has lent his support to the public relations campaign being waged by the National Business Aviation Association and General Aviation Manufacturers Association to try to change the perception of business aviation. Palmer stars in three television/online commercials in which he discusses the function, value and myths about business aviation. "For 50 years, the single most productive thing I've done is business aviation," Palmer says in one of the spots. He told the opening general session of the NBAA convention in Orlando on Tuesday that business aviation provided the competitive edge in golf and business that was largely responsible for his success in both. More

User Fee Debate Simmers »

While the difficult economic and perception problems plaguing the business aviation industry have center stage at the National Business Aviation Association convention this week in Orlando, background work on the reauthorization of the FAA continues, and NBAA President Ed Bolen told today's opening session that there is strong opposition to the administration's apparent preference for user fees to fund the agency. Bolen noted the House and the Senate now both have general aviation caucuses opposed to the notion of user fees. Bolen noted FAA bills passed by the House and under consideration by the Senate don't mention user fees and that fees have been rejected in previous bills. As he was discussing the issue with members, there were some developments on Capitol Hill, according to AOPA. More