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Gulfstream is hiring at its SAV (Savannah GA) and ATW (Appleton WI) locations. The company says it has signed a 12-year lease for a 70,000 sq ft office building in the Crossroads Business Park in Savannah which will house more than 400 professionals, 100 of whom will be new employees hired over the next several years. The announcement is consistent with a commitment made by Gulfstream in 2010 to expand over the next 7 years through the investment of $500 million and the addition of 1000 employees. Separately, Gulfstream announced plans to add 100 jobs at the company's ATW facility to support an increasing volume of large-cabin completions work.

Boeing Business Jets has reached its goal of "12 and 12 in 2012." The company says that it delivered 12 BBJs last year to customers that were ready for interior installation. Separately, Boeing says that 12 aircraft entered into service after interior completion. Boeing also notes that it accomplished several milestones during 2012, including delivery of the 1st BBJ 747-8, which was also the 1st 747-8 intercontinental delivery for the company. In addition, the first Aeroloft system designed by Greenpoint Technologies was installed in 2012. The Aeroloft, designed specifically for the BBJ 747-8, is a module that provides 8 private sleeping berths and a changing room. The interiors for the BBJs entering service in 2012 were installed by AMAC Aerospace in Switzerland. Shown above is a BBJ 777-200LR completed at AMAC's BSL (Basel, Switzerland) facility last year for a Saudi customer.

Gulfstream has received an FAA production certificate and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certificate for the G650. The announcement was made one day ahead of the company's first delivery of a fully outfitted G650 to a US customer. By securing EASA certification, the G650 can be registered in the 27 member states that form the European Union. The G650 is also type certified in Ber­muda and the Isle of Man.

Embraer reported its 4Q2012 figures for commercial and executive jet deliveries in January. Overall deliveries for the quarter were down 8% over the same quarter in 2011.

Embraer's commercial segment delivered 106 aircraft throughout the year—almost unchanged from 105 in 2011—while executive segment delivery totals for 2012 held steady at 99. Embraer delivered 29 Phenom 100s and 48 Phenom 300s in 2012, in addition to 19 Legacy 600/650s and 3 Lineage 1000s.

These figures reveal a shift from 2011, with Phenom 100 deliveries continuing to fall off slightly and Phenom 300 deliveries strengthening. In 2011 Embraer delivered 41 Phenom 100s and 42 Phenom 300s, 13 Legacy 600/650s and 3 Lineage 1000s.
Two of the 3 EMB145 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft ordered by the Indian Air Force were delivered during 2012. These are not included in the delivery figures above.

At the end of Dec 2012, the worldwide fleet of Phenom 100s and 300s was approaching 390. Of these, 117 were Phenom 300s and 267 were Phenom 100s (including 4 military delivered in 2009 and 18 US-assembled examples). A total of 17 Lineage 1000s have been delivered.

In Brazil, Phenom 100 and 300 final production has been transferred from GPX (Gavião Peixoto SP, Brazil) to SJK (São José dos Campos SP, Brazil). The move, prompted in part by Embraer's decision to expand its defense sector, frees up capacity at GPX for work on the KC390 airlifter.

Phenom 100s for the North Amer­ican market are now produced exclusively at Embraer Executive Jets' fac­ility at MLB (Melbourne FL), with 17 aircraft (including 2 demonstrators) delivered last year. US production of the Phenom 300 is on track, too.

The first US-built example flew on Dec 5, 2012—three days shy of the anniversary of the maiden flight of the first US-produced Phenom 100. According to Embraer, deliveries of MLB-built Phenom 300s will start in March, by which time the assembly line will have reached its target production rate of 8 Phenom 100/300s per month. —Phil Rose

AgustaWestland has signed a deal with the UK Ministry of Defence valued at £260 million ($413 million) for the provision of Sea King integrated operational support (SKIOS). The contract is for a period starting Apr 1 2013 through the type's out-of-service date in Mar 2016 and provides a comprehensive support package for the fleet of Westland Sea Kings operated by the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.

Bell has signed an agreement to provide 20 model 407GX helicopters to Air Methods. They will be dedicated to air medical transport for critically ill and injured patients throughout the US. The aircraft will be equipped with United Rotorcraft EMS interiors and will be able to accommodate a single patient or specialty transport.

The United Rotorcraft interiors will also provide Air Methods with integrated medical systems such as medical oxygen, suction, air, storage and electrical power. An articulating loading system will permit easy patient loading.

Mitsui Bussan Aerospace (MBA) has been appointed as an official AgustaWestland distributor for all new AW169s in Japan. As part of the agreement, MBA—a distributor for the AW139 in Japan since 2005—has committed to the sale of 20 AW­169s in the Japanese market.

The 1st AgustaWestland AW139 to be assembled in Russia performed its maiden flight in December near Moscow. HeliVert, a joint venture between Russian Helicopters and AgustaWestland, says it has completed the scheduled tests approved by Russia's aviation authorities and is now in the process of undergoing a flight test program. First flight of HeliVert's 2nd AW139 is said to be imminent.

Air Methods has acquired Las Vegas NV tour operator Sundance Helicopters. Sundance focuses primarily on Grand Canyon tours, but also provides helicopter services to support fire fighting, natural resource agency operations, vertical lifts, aerial photography, news gathering and aerial surveying. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

Geisiner Health Systems of Danville PA has ordered another EC145 as part of its fleet modernization and upgrade plan. The order represents Geisiner's 5th EC145 acquisition under a fleet replacement and standardization program that began in 2005. The newest ship is scheduled for delivery in 3Q2013.

Riverside County (CA) Sheriff's Dept has selected Becker Avionics' digital airborne audio control system for its AS350 AStar fleet upgrade. Over the next few months, the Riverside Air Unit's aircraft will undergo avionics upgrades to include the DVCS6100 unit developed by Becker, replacing older analog systems. The upgrades will be accomplished on the department's 4 AS350 multimission helicopters and single Cessna 182P surveillance aircraft.

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