Hawker Beechcraft Corp (HBC) announced on Jul 17 that it has entered into exclusive negotiations with Superior Aviation Beijing of China on a strategic combination that would preserve jobs and product lines. As part of the exclusivity agreement, Superior is making payments to sustain HBC's jet business. An initial deposit of $25 million was to have been paid by Jul 20 and a second $25 million deposit is payable within 30 days. Any definitive agreement reached with Superior would be subject to approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and other regulatory agencies. In addition, any definitive agreement with Superior will be subject to termination if another potential purchaser succeeds in the mandatory competitive auction process which will be overseen by the US Bankruptcy Court.
The Intl Assn of Machinists and Aerospace Workers has expressed concerns about the HBC/Superior deal, stating that the sale could facilitate the transfer of valuable commercial and military-related technology to China, leading to the loss of high-skilled, high-paying aerospace jobs while compromising US national security interests. The proposed Hawker/ Superior sale agreement also requires the termination of all 3 of Hawker's defined benefit pension plans.
Embraer reported its 2Q2012 figures for commercial and executive jet deliveries in July. Overall deliveries for the quarter were up 15% over the same quarter in 2011. Embraer's commercial segment has delivered 56 aircraft so far this year—up from 45 in the first half of 2011—while delivery totals for the first 6 months of 2012 show a small increase in the executive segment from 31 to 33.
Embraer delivered 11 Phenom 100s and 18 Phenom 300s in 1H2012, in addition to 3 Legacy 600/650s and 1 Lineage 1000.
At the end of Jun 2012, the worldwide fleet of Phenom 100s and 300s was approaching 340. Of these, 87 were Phenom 300s and 249 were Phenom 100s (including 4 military and the first US-assembled examples). A total of 15 Lineage 1000s have been delivered. — Phil Rose
Embraer and Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC) signed an agreement on Jun 21 to build the Legacy 600/650 in China, using the infrastructure, financial resources and workforce of their joint venture Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry (HEAI). In a related announcement, China's ICBC Financial Leasing Co has signed a deal for 10 Legacy 650s (5 firm orders and 5 options) with HEAI. Deliveries are scheduled to begin at the end of 2013.
Gulfstream Aerospace has received approval from FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to retrofit the Gulfstream IV, IVSP, V, G300 and G400 with the PlaneDeck cockpit upgrade. This optional upgrade converts the PFD from CRT to liquid crystal. Gulfstream's 6-panel display configuration remains the same. Along with improved clarity of the displays, PlaneDeck offers integration of XM graphical weather, electronic charts and maps (which will be certifiable as paperless) and video displays, accessible through all-new dual cursor controls. Gulfstream says minimal pilot training is necessary.
Perfect Aviation has received approval to join the US visa waiver program. This will simplify operations for its clients flying between Europe and the US. The Swiss-owned charter and aircraft management company has operations in Switzerland, Portugal and the UK.
Heroux-Devtek says it has agreed to sell substantially all of its aerostructure and industrial products operations to Precision Castparts for C$300 million in cash. Assets to be acquired include facilities in Arlington TX, Cincinnati OH, Montreal QC, Canada and Querétaro, Mexico. Going forward, the corporation will focus on growth opportunities in its core landing gear operations.
Banyan Air Service, based at FXE (Exec, Fort Lauderdale FL) has received an STC for installation of Honeywell Aspire 200LG satcom system on the Gulfstream II, III and IV. Aspire 200LG, which uses Inmarsat's SwiftBroadband service, turns an aircraft into an Internet "hot spot" and enables pilots and passengers to use Wi-Fi enabled devices—including Android, BlackBerry, iPhone and iPad—to access a multitude of applications including e-mail, Internet browsing, smart phone connectivity and voice communications.
Constant Aviation announced on Jul 9 the opening of a new landing gear repair and overhaul facility at its BHM (Birmingham AL) MRO location. The facility will begin servicing Beechjet 400A/Hawker 400XP landing gear and expand to include the Embraer Legacy 600 and Hawker 800A/XP in coming months.
Baker Aviation Maintenance has bought AeroMech. Baker will continue to operate from its FTW (Meacham, Fort Worth TX) headquarters while retaining AeroMech's hangar facilities and workforce at ADS (Addison, Dallas TX). Baker is a full service aircraft charter, management and maintenance company. AeroMech specializes in aircraft repair work and inspections.
Banyan has added the Bombardier Challenger 601-1A/3A/3R and 604 to its FAA Part 145 repair station approvals, as well as to its EASA certification and Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela approvals.
Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC) has nominated Marco Mantovani as head of customer support and services, effective May 1. He will oversee technical support, warranty, spares, repair services, upgrades, refurbishment, onsite assistance and technical publication updates.
Greenwich AeroGroup has named Ralph Kunz as general manager of Summit Aviation. Kunz takes the place of Summit Aviation Pres Bob Fitzpatrick, who is leaving the company to pursue a new opportunity.
Wichita Aero Club (WAC) announced on Jul 9 the election of 6 new members to its board of directors. The group consists of 3 additions and 3 executives elected to replace company representatives who have left the board. New members are John Ek (L), publisher of the Wichita Business Journal, Sean Weaver, exec vp assurance services at Allen, Gibbs & Houlik, and Rod Wilson, Business Development, Goodrich Interiors. Cessna Mgr Community Affairs and Internal Communications Stephanie Harder, Wichita Eagle Publisher Kim Nussbaum and Pratt & Whitney Canada VP Marketing, Business & General Aviation David Van der Wee were elected to fill slots vacated by previous representatives.
General Dynamics Chairman & CEO Jay Johnson will be succeeded by Pres & COO Phebe Novakovic when he retires on Dec 31. Novakovic joined the company in 2003 as a director.