How Do You Spell Success?
Another way to measure success at last week's NBAA event is to count the numbers of airframes sold or ordered. While it's always difficult to track orders and compare them to delivered airframes throughout a model's manufacturing life, most makers left with something to smile about. Among them was Cessna, which says it received 115 jet orders worth more than $1 billion and expects that these agreements will be finalized and enter backlog. Combined with pre-show agreements, the company has already booked over 160 orders for the fourth quarter. Additionally, the airframer reports it sold four new single-turboprop Caravans last week at NBAA. And Bell Helicopter -- like Cessna, a Textron subsidiary -- booked 10 new orders across its commercial helicopter line, including the 429 and 430 models.
Other success stories include Adam Aircraft, which executed a previously announced order for 101 of its A700 AdamJets with Magnum Jet, a start-up per-seat, on-demand operator. Embraer announced during the show sales of up to 77 examples of its to-be-certified Phenom 100 and 300 light jets. Of that total, 24, plus 12 options, go to Spain-based Wondair; 16 and options for 5 more have been ordered by Eagle Creek Aviation Services; and fractional operator Avantair has spoken for 20. Even piston-aircraft manufacturers got into the act at NBAA, with South Carolina-based SATSair signing up for 50 SR22s, with options for an additional 50. That deal alone was valued at $45 million. And NetJets Europe placed an order for 30 of Raytheon's Hawker 750 jets, valued at more than $350 million. Deliveries are slated to begin in the first quarter of 2008 and be completed by 2012.