Industry

ARGUS Intl has presented CitationAir with its platinum rating, signifying CitationAir's "demonstrated successful implementation of industry best safety practices relative to its operation and maintenance." (Above L–R) ARGUS Pres & CEO Joe Moeggenberg hands the award to CitationAir Pres Terry Clark.



Hawker Beechcraft Corp (HBC) plans to emerge from bankruptcy as a smaller, more profitable company. HBC announced on Dec 5 that the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York had approved its disclosure statement filed in connection with the company's joint plan of reorganization (POR).

The court's authorization allows HBC to begin soliciting support for the POR from its creditors—support which the company says it has. The POR voting process for creditors is scheduled to be complete by Jan 22, at which time the company will seek court approval to emerge from bankruptcy at a confirmation hearing scheduled for Jan 31.

As part of the company's Chapter 11 reorganization, HBC says it will rename itself Beechcraft Corporation and focus on its most profitable lines of business—turboprop, piston, special mission and trainer/attack aircraft. The plan also includes the company's exit from the business jet market, officially shutting down production of the Hawker 4000 and Premier.

On Dec 11 a bankruptcy judge ruled that HBC could move ahead with the sale of the remaining 20 Hawker 4000s in its inventory at substantial discounts and without warranty or support commitments. The move has not been welcomed by existing Hawker 4000 owners. HBC has already made clear its desire to be released from "certain warranty obligations" in respect to the Hawker 4000 and Premier I/IA.

Separately, HBC is proceeding with its Hawker 400XPR upgrade program and anticipates certification and first customer deliveries in early 2013. Improvements to the Hawker/Beechjet 400 include the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics system and Williams FJ44-4A-32 engines permitting climb to FL450 in 19 min at MTOW.

The 1st Blackhawk Modifications powered Grand Caravan in the South Pacific has gone to work for a charter operator in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Tropicair, PNG's largest operator of Cessna 208B Grand Caravans, recently added an aircraft featuring Blackhawk's XP42A performance upgrade. The upgrade package includes a factory new Pratt & Whitney PT6A-42A 850-shp engine, a new 100-inch-wide chord Hartzell 4-blade propeller, high efficiency composite cowling, Blackhawk Hawkeye DigiLog engine gauges and Frakes exhaust stacks. The modification increases the Caravan's rate of climb, true airspeed, range and payload—all of which are benefits for Tropicair, which operates in remote areas in the South Pacific.

Business Jet Access has added a Cessna Citation Sovereign and an Embraer Phenom 100 to its fleet. The Sovereign is a 2005 model based at MQY (Smyrna TN) and is available for charter. The Phenom is based in Texas and is being operated under Part 91.

Gulfstream has opened a flight operations department at Hong Kong's Citygate Complex near HKG (Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong). Citing the company's commitment to assisting customers around Asia, Gulfstream established a satellite flight department with 5 pilots—3 large-cabin dem­onstration pilots, 1 midsize-cabin demo pilot and a chief pilot type rated in both large and midsize aircraft. The pilots will work closely with customers and their local aircraft management companies to facilitate the transfer of Gulfstream aircraft into the region. The newly created flight ops department will also assist in the transit of aircraft to and from the US, provide entry-into-service flying for customers and support regional air shows. The company says nearly 200 Gulfstream business jets are registered in the Asia-Pacific region.

Gulfstream has begun delivery of the G280 to customers. The first fully outfitted aircraft was delivered in mid-November to an unnamed US manufacturer with "a worldwide presence spanning 190 countries."

Piper and the Florida Dept of Economic Opportunity have amended an existing agreement to keep the aircraft manufacturer in Florida. The revised agreement allows Piper to retain approximately half of the $6.6 million in economic development incentives already awarded to the company because of its $30-million investment in research and development, surpassing the company's investment requirements under the agreement.

The state has agreed to allow Piper to keep the other half—$3.3 million—if it meets certain employment obligations over the next 4 years. Under the revised agreement, Piper must retain 650 full-time positions with an average salary of $46,500. For each year the company meets the minimum threshold, its obligation to repay the incentive is de­creas­ed by 25%. The original agreement was executed in 2008 prior to the rapid decline of the GA economy.

VistaJet has placed a firm order for 56 Bombardier Global aircraft with options for 86 more. The manufacturer says the transaction is valued at $7.8 billion with deliveries expected to begin in 2014. The order consists of 25 Global 5000s, 25 Global 6000s and 6 Global 8000s with options for an additional 40 Global 5000s, 40 Global 6000s and 6 Global 8000s. VistaJet notes that the order is the largest single transaction in the history of business aviation. It plans to operate the aircraft in Russia, China, the Middle East, Africa and the US.

Avionics

WSI has released version 1.4 of its Pilotbrief Optima iPad app, providing users with enhanced capabilities such as global weather charts (available online and offline), lightning data, turbulence auto Pirep system (TAPS), NAT tracks and PACOTS overlaid on an interactive map.

Sandel has received AS9100 and ISO9001 certifications. The quality management system for the aerospace industry standard (AS9100) is designed to meet the stringent and unique quality and safety demands of the defense and commercial aerospace industry.

 


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