Air Capital Aviation Report, July 15, 2007

Carl Chance

By Carl Chance, Wings Over Kansas’ aviation & aerospace correspondent, former news consultant and producer for Wingspan Air & Space Channel.

Cessna Launches Light Sport Aircraft Program:

Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron, Inc. Company, announced it will proceed with its Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) program and will unveil a full scale mock-up and program details at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Air Venture in Oshkosh, Wis., later this month.

"After conducting extensive research, it is clear to us there is a great need for this aircraft as we strive to drive down the cost of flying and learning to fly," said Cessna Chairman, President and CEO Jack J. Pelton. "We believe this aircraft will make a major contribution to stimulating new pilot starts and will encourage already-licensed pilots to continue to fly because it will be more affordable.

"We have developed a business case that makes sense; we have incorporated several innovative features into the design; and we believe we can deliver the finest aircraft in the category, combined with our extensive customer service, flight training and distribution networks, at an attractive price," Pelton said.

Details of the program will be announced during the EAA show at a press conference that will be held at the Air Venture Museum, Eagle Hanger, on Sunday, July 22, at 8:30 a.m.

Cessna Marks Recent Milestones for Citation Mustang:

Cessna Aircraft Company, marked its return to the Paris Air Show with a number of milestones for its Citation Mustang, including European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification, steep approach and new customer deliveries.

The Citation Mustang is the first new-generation entry-level business jet to be certified in Europe, and was the first to win full U.S. Federal Aviation Administration Certification.

"The Citation Mustang has met or exceeded every performance objective established when we announced the program in 2002," said Cessna’s Chairman, President and CEO Jack J. Pelton. "The Mustang is proving its capability in the United States where several owner-operators are currently flying their new airplanes. We’re looking forward to starting deliveries of the Mustang in Europe later this summer."

The Mustang achieved full FAA certification in September 2006 and deliveries began in November. Cessna has delivered eight of a total of 40 to be delivered in 2007. Cessna will ramp up production at its Independence, Kan., production facility to 150 Mustangs per year by 2009.

The six-place Citation Mustang has a top speed of 644 km per hour (nearly 400 mph/340 ktas), a range of 1,150 nm (2,130 km/1,323 statute miles – NBAA IFR Reserves) and a service ceiling of 12,500 m (41,000 ft).

Hawker Beechcraft Corporation Delivers 200th Beechcraft Premier:

Hawker Beechcraft Corporation recently delivered the 200th Beechcraft Premier to customer, Hannay Reels who have owned and operated business aircraft since 1952.

"We were so impressed with the Premier that we ordered one back in 2000, while it was still a ‘paper’ airplane," said Roger Hannay, president, Hannay Reels. "Our confidence in the airplane, its performance and large, comfortable cabin make owning the 200th aircraft built a vary special occasion."

"The success of the Beechcraft Premier is all about speed and cabin comfort," said Brad Hatt, president, Commercial Sales. "Cruising at 450 knots with a spacious cabin, the Premier enables customers to travel in comfort quickly and efficiently. Delivering the 200th aircraft is a milestone we are particularly proud of and we anticipate building many more."

Hawker Beechcraft delivered its first Beechcraft Premier I in 2001, delivering 157 before certifying and beginning deliveries of the Beechcraft Premier IA in 2005. The Beechcraft Premier IA is the largest/fastest single-pilot business jet in the world. It features a high-strength composite, carbon fiber/epoxy/honeycomb fuselage, produced by computer-controlled, automated machines, giving the aircraft a medium-jet sized cabin at light jet acquisition and operating costs. The powerplants are Williams International FJ44-2A engines that are built on themes of simplicity, low fuel consumption, and high-altitude thrust performance. Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics includes IFIS with total system integration and instrument placement designed to make single-pilot operation easy, simple and safe. With a 450-knot cruise speed, customers around the world purchase the airplane for its speed and large cabin.

European Skytime Purchases Fleet of Bombardier Learjet Business Jets:

Bombardier Aerospace announced that European Skytime of Gloucestershire, UK has placed firm orders for six high-performance Learjet business jets, a total of eight Learjet aircraft orders in the past month. The new order includes three light Learjet 40 XR jets, three super-light Learjet 45 XR jets and two midsize Learjet 60 XR jets.

European Skytime runs a leading European block charter program, utilizing numerous Bombardier business jets including Learjet 31, Learjet 45, Learjet 60 and Challenger 604 aircraft. The new Learjet order, scheduled for delivery over the next two years, will be based in London.

"We are making a substantial commitment to ensure our customers have a guaranteed access to a flexible, top quality fleet of jets. With their proven fuel efficiency, outstanding speed and range combination, and spacious, comfortable cabins, the Learjet aircraft family is the right fit for our business model," said Steve Westlake, managing director of European Skytime. "A limited number of fractional shares, offering 50 and 100 hour blocks, will be available for purchase on this new fleet. We offer our passengers the very best products and services. Our company stands by this and it sets us apart from our competition."

Butler to offer Private Pilot Ground School in Wichita:

Butler Community College will offer a Private Pilot Ground School this fall at the new Butler Service Center in Wichita.

The non-credit course will be taught by ground instructor Dr. Rob Kuhns, a private pilot and director of Butler’s McConnell campus. It will be held on Wednesday nights from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Butler Service Center at 2626 S. Rock Road. The class will run from Aug. 22 – Nov. 28 and the cost will be $149.00. The course is limited to 25 students and is open to those 16 years and older.

The class will cover topics including navigation, meteorology, radio communication, radio navigation, theory of flight, federal air regulations and related topics. Upon successful completion of the class, the student should be able to pass the FAA private pilot written examination. Interested students can also prepare for the sport pilot exam, which prepares pilots for flying smaller, more recreational aircraft.

Each will also be given a six-month subscription to a flight training magazine and may also get a chance to take an introductory flight with a licensed pilot. Kuhns also plans to provide each student with a mentor pilot, who can provide advice to students if they pursue further training at the completion of the Butler course.

To enroll in the course or for more information, contact Susan Howell in Butler’s Continuing Education Department at (316) 322-3193 or 733-3193 from the Wichita/metro area.

Dr. Rob Kuhns holds an Earned Doctorate from Oklahoma State University in Higher Education with an emphasis in aviation. Presently he is the Director of Butler of McConnell at McConnell AFB, Kansas. An aircraft owner for 21 years, Kuhns is instrument rated and holds all FAA flight Ground Instructor ratings. Dr. Kuhns has instructed aviation classes for Butler Community College, Wichita State University, and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Currently Dr. Kuhns serves on committees for ERAU for the graduate capstone project both as chair and committee member. Dr. Kuhns formerly was Director of Education at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center.

I’ll have more news and items of interest as they develop and will be published in my next "Air Capital Aviation Report." Please keep logging on to, for weekly aviation and aerospace update stories, features, history, education and more.