With 4 aircraft in the flight test fleet, the ultralong-range Gulfstream G650 has completed several test milestones. Aircraft s/n 6001 tested the plane's hydraulics and brakes, while 6003 performed company tests of the environmental control system, cabin pressure control system, and oxygen system. Since then, it has completed certification dry-air testing for the wing and cowl ice protection systems. Aircraft s/n 6004 is the first to have a fully outfitted interior. It has tested hydraulics overpressure and satellite communications, and completed certification testing of TCAS and EGPWS. Gulfstream is still anticipating FAA and EASA type certification of the G650 later this year.
The first production G280 has arrived at Gulfstream's mid-cabin completions center at DAL (Love, Dallas TX). Flight testing of the new model continues. The 3 aircraft in the G280 test fleet have accumulated more than 1500 hrs in over 550 flights, and certification is expected later this year. The production aircraft in Dallas is being outfitted with galley, divan and cabinets, and is being painted for delivery to the customer.
Embraer reports that the service center at its headquarters at SJK (São José dos Campos SP, Brazil) is undergoing a substantial upgrade. Also, beginning in September, the company will base technicians at CGH (Congonhas, São Paulo SP, Brazil) to provide remote services in emergencies. By December, the headquarters unit will be an authorized service facility for maintenance of Rolls-Royce engines on the Legacy 600/650. A possible FBO, hangarage and maintenance operation is under study.
Embraer has named 4 new authorized service centers in Brazil for the Phenom 100 and 300. They are AeroMecânica BFH (Bacacheri, Curitiba PR), Algar Aviation PLU (Pampulha, Belo Horizonte MG), Globo Aviação BSB (Brasília DF) and Voar Aviação GYN (Goiânia GO). (Voar acquired Globo in a 2008 merger.) The new centers are expected to open for business in 4Q2011. Worldwide, Embraer has more than 50 owned and authorized service centers.
Hawker Beechcraft has opened a new regional headquarters in Beijing. The North Asia region covers mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Macau and Taiwan. The company has also hired local employees to strengthen its sales and marketing network in the region.
Piper Aircraft reports that billings and deliveries were up for its high-end models in 1H2011. The company delivered 14 turboprop Meridians and 24 piston-powered Matrixes and Mirages between January and June, compared with 36 of what Piper calls its "M-Class" aircraft during the first 6 months of 2010. Only 8 Meridians were delivered during the same period last year. New aircraft billings rose from just under $49.5 million in 1H2010 to about $57.4 million in 1H2011. More than $31 million of that came in the 2nd quarter of the year.
Field Aviation of Toronto ON, Canada, has delivered 2 Bombardier DHC8-Q400s with custom interiors. The aircraft—one with 28 seats, the other with 40—feature a combination of single VIP-style seats and standard economy seat pairs. One offers a separate cabin with 4 individual fully berthable VIP seats in club configuration. VIP and first-class seats also offer touchscreen LCD monitors for data services and moving map displays. The aircraft were received by Avitrade Belgium on behalf of their end-use customer.
FlairJet plans to open new bases at EMA (East Midlands, England) and DUB (Dublin, Ireland). The business aviation operator will place a Phenom 100 at each location. FlairJet is also moving ahead with plans to establish a center to carry out base and line training for Phenom pilots. Its third-party training department is currently staffed by 3 Phenom 100 and 2 Phenom 300 examiners.
Rockwell Collins IDS (integrated display system) flightdeck has completed its first flight in a Beech 1900D twin turboprop. The upgrade removes the factory-installed Pro Line II EFIS 84 and replaces it with the fully integrated 3-display Pro Line 21 IDS. The manufacturer says the new installation not only improves situational awareness but saves $25,000 or more in avionics operating costs during the first 2 years of installation in normal corporate use.
Jet Source of Carlsbad CA has completed its 2nd major installation of the new Garmin GTN 650/750 touchscreen-controlled nav/comm/GPS/ WAAS systems. The retrofit replaced a dated avionics package on a Pilatus PC12. The new installation includes GTN 750 and 650 units, GMA35 audio panel, GMX MFD interfaced to KMH920 for EGPWS terrain, TCAS traffic and RDR2000 with radar. Also installed were the GDL69A XM radio and weather datalink and an upgrade to the existing EFIS 50 system to allow display of WAAS approach information.
Jet Support Services Inc (JSSI) has won a new customer. Prime Fraction Club has enrolled its fleet of Phenom 100s and 300s and an AgustaWestland A109 into JSSI's hourly cost engine maintenance program. (L–R) Prime Fraction Club Pres Walterson Fontoura Caravajal, JSSI Dir of Business Devt South America Guilherme De Moraes, JSSI Technical Advisor South America Aroldo Rovero and JSSI Chairman & CEO Louis Seno.
Gulfstream's SAV (Savannah GA) service center has earned Brazilian maintenance approval. This means the 700,000 sq ft facility can provide maintenance, repairs, alterations and inspections on Brazilian-registered civil aircraft.
The avionics repair station operated by Castleberry Instruments & Avionics of Austin TX has received FAA full Class 1, 2, 3 radio and Class 1, 2, 3, 4 instrument and limited airframe ratings. With this step up, Castleberry will be offering services such as static system certifications, transponder certifications and autopilot installations. It also clears the way for a new operation at the recently opened airport EDC (Exec, Austin TX).
FlightSafety Intl (FSI) has opened a new facility in Broken Arrow OK. The simulator design and manufacturing center occupies 375,000 sq ft and has 19 full flight simulator assembly positions. FSI has also announced plans to offer Gulfstream G450 and G550 training at its DFW (Dallas–Fort Worth TX) center beginning in 2012. The company also says it will offer training in the G450/550 at its Hong Kong location, bringing to 10 its fleet of full flight simulators for the 2 models.
Orlando FL-based SimCom has acquired 14 simulators and training programs from FSI. The purchase includes advanced flight training devices for turboprops such as the King Air B200 and C90B and Piper Cheyenne series, as well as full motion simulators for the Twin Commander 1000 and 690A and Cessna Conquest I and II. When the new hardware enters service, SimCom will operate a total of 59 simulators at 5 training centers in the US.
Embraer–CAE Training Services is opening a new training center near GRU (Guarulhos, São Paolo SP, Brazil). It will provide training for pilots and maintenance personnel on the Phenom 100 and 300 from ground school through full flight simulator. The operation is a joint venture between Embraer and CAE, whose São Paulo training center already trains about 6000 pilots annually.