Editor Carl Chance, Wings Over Kansas’ aviation & aerospace correspondent, former news consultant and producer for Wingspan Air & Space Channel.
Hawker Beechcraft Delivers 100th U.S. Navy Beechcraft T-6B
LAS VEGAS (Oct. 10, 2011) – Hawker Beechcraft Defense Company (HBDC) today announced the delivery of the 100th Beechcraft T-6B trainer to the U.S. Navy. The aircraft will be stationed at the Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton, Fla. The T-6B has been in successful operation as the U.S. Navy’s military trainer since August, 2009.
“In keeping with HBC’s long-standing tradition of supporting our servicemen and women in peacetime and in conflict, we are honored to be a part of this milestone celebration by delivering PN-100 to the U.S. Navy,” said Jim Maslowski, president, HBDC. “This aircraft is a symbol of our commitment and dedication to the U.S. armed forces and the missions they carry out.”
An advanced version of the T-6A, the T-6B’s cockpit is representative of today’s state-of-the-art combat and combat support aircraft. The cockpit includes a Head-Up Display (HUD), Up-Front Control Panel (UFCP), and Hands-On Throttle and Stick. The T-6B enables advanced systems and information management skills training with a glass cockpit and a tailorable avionics suite.
The Beechcraft T-6 offers military organizations worldwide the most proven and most cost-effective training system available today. The T-6 is a primary trainer aircraft that easily accommodates basic instruction in instrument flight procedures and introductory aerobatic maneuvers but is also capable of many of the most advanced combat training tasks that could previously be accomplished only in far more expensive jet aircraft.
Deliveries of the T-6 began in 2000 after the aircraft was initially selected to fill the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) role for the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy. Since then, additional military programs worldwide, including NATO Flying Training in Canada, the Hellenic Air Force of Greece, the Israeli Air Force, the Iraqi Air Force and the Royal Moroccan Air Force have chosen the T-6 and its derivatives as their primary trainers. To date, the T-6 has been used to train pilots and navigators from approximately 20 different countries.
Hawker Beechcraft Corporation is a world-leading manufacturer of business, special mission, light attack and trainer aircraft – designing, marketing and supporting aviation products and services for businesses, governments and individuals worldwide. The company’s headquarters and major facilities are located in Wichita, Kan., with operations in Salina, Kan.; Little Rock, Ark.; Chester, England, U.K.; and Chihuahua, Mexico. The company leads the industry with a global network of more than 100 factory-owned and authorized service centers. For more information, visit www.hawkerbeechcraft.com. For story on “First T-6B Trainer to U.S. Navy,” please visit www.wingsoverkansas.com/news/article.asp?id=1104.
Hawker Beechcraft Receives Order for 12 Hawker 800XPR Aircraft from XOJET
LAS VEGAS (Oct. 10, 2011) – Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support (GCS) today announced that leading private aviation company, XOJET, has placed an order for 12 Hawker 800XPR aircraft. The Hawker 800XPR upgrade is certified by both the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Authority.
“XOJET’s 40 percent growth in 2011 clearly demonstrates that their innovative business model has been well-received by the private aviation market,” said Christi Tannahill, Hawker Beechcraft vice president, Global Customer Support. “Our innovative Hawker 800XPR program can deliver the transcontinental capability, proven reliability and exceptional passenger comfort that will help XOJET continue on their growth path. Their commitment is a testament to the proven significance and value proposition of the 800XPR program.”
“The growth of our business demanded a third fleet type,” said Blair LaCorte, XOJET’s Chief Executive Officer. “We looked at the available options for aircraft that would match the unmet needs of our network, and the clear standout was the Hawker 800XPR. Working closely with the Hawker Beechcraft team, we were able to create a custom XOJET Hawker 800XPR that addresses our unique requirements.”
The Hawker 800XPR program offers major airframe modifications such as the replacement of the existing TFE731-5BR engines with TFE731-50R as well as adding Genuine Hawker winglets. It also can include avionics upgrades, cabin interior refurbishment and custom paint schemes.
“This program is part of a developing strategic relationship between Hawker Beechcraft and XOJET,” said Tannahill. “This initial contract includes custom modifications and upgrades to XOJET aircraft and represents a potential commitment of up to $50 million.”
XOJET, a TPG portfolio company founded in 2006, has become one of the fastest-growing private aviation companies in history, serving more than 3,500 customers worldwide. Its unique business model combines private jet membership, flexible programs, and fixed-price charter with a singular focus on providing the highest level of customer service at every point of the client’s experience. XOJET’s commitment to safety leadership has earned the highest safety ratings in the industry, and XOJET is the only business aviation provider to rank either #1 or #2 in all twelve ARG/US Platinum safety rating categories. For more information, visit www.xojet.com.
Headquartered in Wichita, Kan., Hawker Beechcraft GCS is dedicated to improving the value of HBC aircraft by employing products and services to simplify aircraft ownership, reduce operating cost and increase resale value. GCS is comprised of five functional groups that include Support Plus (cost predictability/warranty programs), Hawker Beechcraft Parts & Distribution (genuine factory parts), Hawker Beechcraft Services (factory-owned service centers), Technical Support (Field Support Representatives, Hot Line specialists and Technical Publications) and Global Mission Support (government business and special mission maintenance / training support).
Hawker Beechcraft Corporation is a world-leading manufacturer of business, special mission, light attack and trainer aircraft – designing, marketing and supporting aviation products and services for businesses, governments and individuals worldwide. The company’s headquarters and major facilities are located in Wichita, Kan., with operations in Salina, Kan.; Little Rock, Ark.; Chester, England, U.K.; and Chihuahua, Mexico. The company leads the industry with a global network of more than 100 factory-owned and authorized service centers. For more information, visit www.hawkerbeechcraft.com.
Cessna Announces ‘Game-Changing’ Citation Latitude.
LAS VEGAS, Oct. 10, 2011 — Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, introduced the new Citation Latitude mid-size jet this morning at the start of the 64th NBAA Annual Meeting and Convention. This is Cessna’s second new product announcement in the past 14 days; the company launched the Citation M2 light business jet on Sept. 26.
With space for a crew of two plus up to eight passengers, the Citation Latitude features G5000 avionics and a clean-sheet, 84-inch fuselage for a 6-foot high, flat floor passenger cabin.
“The Citation Latitude is a game-changer for the mid-size segment, offering the payload, speed and range the market requires with an unmatched cabin experience at this price point,” said Brad Thress, senior vice president, Cessna Business Jets.
Positioned between the Citation XLS+ and Citation Sovereign in Cessna’s product line, the Citation Latitude offers a full fuel payload of 1,000 pounds (454 kilograms), a maximum cruise speed of 442 knots true airspeed (819 kilometers per hour) and a range of 2,000 nautical miles (3,704 kilometers). The aircraft is priced at $14.9 million in 2011 USD.
Preliminary specifications project the aircraft will operate at airports with runways as short as 3,900 feet (1,189 meters), will have a maximum altitude of 45,000 feet (13,716 meters) and will climb direct to 43,000 feet (13,106 meters) in 23 minutes. First flight of the Citation Latitude prototype is expected to be mid-year 2014, with FAA certification (Part 25) and entry into service expected in 2015.
“Our team used extensive market research to configure the Citation Latitude and the results are seen from nose to tail and from wingtip to wingtip on the Latitude’s swept wing,” Thress said. “Nowhere is the Latitude’s uniqueness more visible than inside the cabin.”
From just behind the cockpit through the rear lavatory, a flat floor provides stand-up access throughout the 16-plus foot cabin. The main passenger cabin — Cessna’s widest in history — is 77 inches wide (1.95 meters) with a height of 72 inches (1.83 meters). The standard seating arrangement accommodates passengers in a single-club with a forward, dual side-facing couch. Six pedestal seats track forward and aft 7 inches (.18 m) and laterally 4 inches (.10 m) on the seat base with 180 swiveling capability and infinite recline positions. Cabin-length indirect LED lighting is provided overhead in the passenger service units with variable adjustment for direct reading lights and more.
“The requirements for business travel have evolved to more than comfort and convenience; the use of innovative technology is key to providing a more efficient and productive aircraft cabin, which is critical to meeting expectations of a fully functioning work environment,” said Cindy Halsey, Cessna vice president, Interior Design, Engineering and Development. “Through our new ClairityTM cabin technology system, we have an intuitive user interface to offer customers a ‘smart’ airplane for the ultimate connectivity experience.”
Developed by Cessna in partnership with Dallas-based Heads Up Technologies, Clairity is an intelligent cabin technology solution that ties into the aircraft avionics systems and can integrate cabin electrical systems and data and communication sharing through a fiber optic backbone controlled through either an intuitive touch-screen user interface at each seat or the customer’s personal electronic device.
The Citation Latitude’s cockpit is anchored by the new, fully integrated Garmin G5000 system that centers on three 14-inch LCD primary and multifunction displays and four touch-screen control panels. It includes an integrated Flight Director/Autopilot and Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS). Among the standard features of the new system are a pilot-vehicle touch-screen interface, TCAS II with Change 7.1, Synthetic Vision Technology, electronic charts, Garmin’s SafeTaxi, a dual flight management system with WAAS LPV and RNP, solid-state weather radar with turbulence detection and vertical scan capability, integrated terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS), ADS-B Out and Link 2000+ data link. Options include satellite weather and an ICAO Type 1A flight data recorder.
A cabin mock-up of the new Citation Latitude is on display through Wednesday at Cessna’s exhibit (Booth #C9044) in the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Bombardier Learjet 85 Flight Test Aircraft Fabrication Underway.
Bombardier Aerospace today announced that production of its new Learjet 85 aircraft has officially begun as the program successfully exited the Aircraft Level Critical Design Review. Development and production teams in Wichita, Kansas; Montréal, Québec; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Querétaro, Mexico, are actively engaged in the manufacturing validation phase.
“We have made solid progress,” said Ralph Acs, Vice President and General Manager, Learjet, Bombardier Aircraft. “Our manufacturing sites are ready, production has begun, we have been successfully building parts and we are ensuring that all quality standards are met for the Learjet 85 aircraft’s entry into service in 2013.”
The Querétaro site is operational with production tooling in place. To date, several test fuselages and key elements of the composite structure have been produced at the facility to validate the manufacturing and assembly processes. In addition, a full-length composite fuselage has been assembled, and production of the first flight test is underway.
In Wichita, the first phase of expansion is complete and the site is ready for the start of final assembly. Phase two of the expansion plan, which includes building a new production flight facility, is scheduled to begin in 2012, while phase three – the paint facility and new delivery centre – is on track to be completed in 2013.
Production of wing spars and planks using Resin Transfer Infusion (RTI) technology was successfully launched at the Belfast site in spring 2011. Several sets of spars are now complete, and shipments to the Querétaro site, where wing assembly will take place, have begun.
The Learjet 85 aircraft program supply base has started the fabrication of parts, and is on track with approximately 40 per cent of dedicated supplier test rigs that are operational, running their respective systems prior to shipment to the final line. As part of Bombardier’s technology readiness program, over 12,000 test pieces have been produced to date. The first Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) structural certification test project was successfully completed this summer.
There are currently more than 1,700 employees working on the Learjet 85 aircraft program across Bombardier Aerospace’s sites worldwide.
The new Learjet 85 aircraft – Redefining the midsize segment. Launched on October 30, 2007, with a customer-driven clean-sheet design, the Learjet 85 aircraft is positioned between the midsize Learjet 60 XR and the super midsize Challenger 300 jets.
True to its legendary heritage, the Learjet 85 aircraft is set to deliver the extraordinary performance, superior technology and exceptional value Learjet aircraft owners expect. The jet is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307B engines, each boasting 6,100 pounds of take-off thrust at sea level 86ºF (30ºC) and low noise levels, while the advanced low NOx emission combustor offers reduced environmental impact. The aircraft targets a high-speed of Mach 0.82 and a transcontinental range of up to 3,000 nautical miles (5,556 km)*.
The Learjet 85 aircraft flight deck combines advanced technology with superior design elements for a cockpit environment unlike any other midsize jet. The latest in technological advancements and superior design aesthetics from Bombardier’s Global Vision flight deck are carried over in order to create the ultimate Learjet aircraft flight control environment.
The aircraft’s customized version Cabin Management System, developed by Lufthansa Technik, will feature a high-capacity Ethernet network with a digital amplifier to feed the high-fidelity speaker system and an interface to support the aircraft cabin environment, including lighting and temperature control. The system’s open architecture also allows for easy integration of third-party equipment and new applications, such as high-definition features.
Learjet is the first name in corporate aviation. Since acquiring Learjet Inc. in 1990, Bombardier Aerospace has carried forward the brand’s proud legacy by launching eight high-performance and fuel-efficient Learjet aircraft. Please visit www.wingsoverkansas.com/news/article.asp?id=1392 for a feature regarding “Bombardier Learjet 85 Aircraft Program Progressing on all Fronts.”
Boeing Unveils Newest Jet for Chinese Charter Market
LAS VEGAS, Oct. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Boeing (NYSE: BA) Business Jets unveiled the latest BBJ to enter the Chinese charter market at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) conference in Las Vegas this week.
The new BBJ, owned and operated by Deer Jet of Beijing, is the second of four BBJs for the airline making it the largest BBJ charter operator in China.
"It’s no surprise BBJ is dominating the business in Asia," said Steve Taylor, BBJ president.
"BBJ can carry more people than traditional business jets, as well as having cabins that are around twice as wide with unequalled comfort, space and freedom of movement, which makes them ideal for carrying business teams," said Taylor.
BBJ customers work with designers and interior completion centers to develop personalized interiors. The interior of Deer Jet’s new BBJ was completed by Associated Air Center of Dallas, Texas and features 28 seats, a bedroom suite and full sized bathroom with a shower.
Korean Airlines, Beijing Airlines and Metrojet also charter BBJs in Asia.
Sales of BBJs to private individuals in Asia are extremely strong as well. One reason is that the BBJ can fly further than its competitor’s airplanes. Range is very important to buyers in the region, due to the great distances from Asia to Europe and North America.
Contact: Dina Weiss Boeing Business Jets Communications +1 206-853-9620