February 22

Diamond delivers first DA62 to Israel

Business aviation services company FNA Aviation has become the first Israeli owner of the Diamond DA62, following delivery of the piston-twin in early February.

The seven-seat aircraft will be used for air taxi operations, joining a pair of DA40s and single DA42 in service.

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Diamond Aircraft

“We are happy to welcome the most modern twin-engine light plane on the market to our fleet,” says FNA owner Nisim Vanumu. He describes his expectations for the DA62 as “high”, citing the aircraft’s “very efficient” 180hp (130kW) AE300 diesel engines – developed by Diamond’s sister company Austro – as a key benefit.

“We will be able to compete in the twin-engined, light piston business at a very competitive price,” Vanunu says.

The DA62 entered service in October 2016 as the largest member of Diamond’s seven-strong family of propeller-driven aircraft. To date about 40 have been delivered, including 30 units in 2016.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/diamond-delivers-first-da62-to-israel-434371/

Category: Uncategorized
February 22

First Asia-based TBM 930 enters service

The first Asia-based Daher TBM 930 has entered service with its Thai owner, Anutin Charnvirakul, who is also a former TBM 850 customer.

The businessmen flew the single-engined turboprop – registration HS-SST – from Daher’s production facility in Tarbes, southwest France to its new home in Bangkok. The 10,930km (5,910nm) journey included stopovers in Corfu, Greece; Aqaba, Jordan; Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, and Nagpur, India, says Daher. The aircraft averaged a cruise speed of 278kt (515km/h), and consumed around 159 litres (42 US gal) per hour.

The TBM 930 – the fourth iteration of the 26-year-old TBM series – was launched in April 2016 and features Garmin’s G3000 touchscreen glass flightdeck, a reconfigured cockpit, plus redesigned seating and upgraded interior trimmings and finishes.

The $4.1 million aircraft sits alongside the baseline Garmin G1000NXi-equipped TBM 900 in Daher’s line-up. The third generation TBM replaced the 850 in 2014.

Daher delivered 46 TBM 930s and eight TBM 900s in 2016.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/first-asia-based-tbm-930-enters-service-434372/

Category: Uncategorized
February 20

Metal Master readies LAR-1 personal jet for second-quarter first flight

Polish engineering company Metal Master is in the final stages of ground testing its Flaris LAR-1 personal jet, and plans to fly the five-seat single early in the second quarter.

“We are still performing tests of the on-board systems under the supervision of the Polish civil aviation authority,” says company founder and LAR-1 project manager Rafał Ładziński. “But all ground testing should be complete by the end of [March].”

Metal Master, based in Podgórzyn, southwest Poland, recently completed the final strength tests of the LAR-1’s detachable wing – described by Ładziński as “one of the aircraft’s key features” – and cabin pressurisation tests are almost finished.

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Unveiled in 2013, the Williams International FJ33-5A-powered aircraft is believed to be the only Part 23 single-engined personal jet being developed outside the USA. Its only rivals in this space are the in-development Stratos 714 and the Cirrus Vision SF50. The latter has already opened up a significant lead, having entered service in December with a backlog of more than 600 aircraft.

Privately owned Metal Master says it plans to open the orderbook for the €1.6 million ($1.7 million) LAR-1 following its maiden sortie. The all-composite aircraft – which is planned to be first of a family of small aircraft developed by the company – will initially be validated under the Polish regulator’s S-1 experimental aircraft designation, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2018. A certificated version – approved to European CS-23 standards – is expected to follow about two years later.

Ładziński says the project was born out of a desire to create a low-cost aircraft that could be used for short-haul point-to point transport for commercial, corporate and private owners. The LAR-1 is targeted at owners and operators who are stepping up from high-performance pistons or turboprops.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/metal-master-readies-lar-1-personal-jet-for-second-q-434104/

Category: Uncategorized
February 20

MT-Propeller secures approval for five-blade prop on 208 Supervan

Germany’s MT-Propeller has received US supplemental type certification for its MTV-27, 5-blade, constant-speed prop on the Texas Turbines Cessna 208/B Supervan.

Introduced in 2008, the aircraft is a re-engined version of the Pratt Whitney Canada PT6-powered turboprop single, featuring a Honeywell TPE331-12JR turbine engine. There are around 60 of the type in service today.

The MTV-27 – dubbed the “quiet fan jet propeller” by MT – is over 30% lighter than the Supervan’s original Hartzell four-blade prop, says the company. While the “damping characteristics” of the composite structure reduce fuselage vibration by up to 60%.

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MT Propeller

“Certification flight tests have also revealed improvements in the overall performance [of the Supervan],” says MT, including a 10% reduction in ground- roll and an 8% increase in the aircraft’s rate-of-climb.

The Atting, southeast Germany-headquartered company has also secured European approval for the MTV-27 on the TPE-331-powered Twin Commander 690 series. As well as providing modest performance improvements to the out-of production, twin-engined family, the propeller also reduces cabin noise by more than 3db, says MT.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/mt-propeller-secures-approval-for-five-blade-prop-on-434111/

Category: Uncategorized
February 18

Weight reduction cited for Global 7000 wing redesign

Bombardier launched a costly redesign of the Global 7000 wing in 2015 to reduce the structural weight and not to alter its aerodynamic profile, chief executive Alain Bellemare has disclosed.

In July 2015, Bombardier blamed the wing redesign for a two-year delay to entry-into-service of the ultra-long-range, high speed rival to the Gulfstream G650ER.

The design change eventually triggered a legal dispute with wing supplier Triumph Aerostructures, which filed a lawsuit in early January claiming that Bombardier owes the company money for the extra work and tooling costs associated with the redesign.

Until now, Bombardier has never disclosed the reason for the wing redesign, leading at least one analyst to assume in a question posed on a 16 February earnings call that the shape of the new wing will be changed.

But Bellemare corrected the analyst, saying “there’s not much change” to the aerodynamic profile.

“It’s just a lighter wing,” Bellemare says.

For its part, Bombardier disputes that Triumph’s claims for compensation due to the wing redesign. Meanwhile, Triumph is continuing to support the programme as the wing supplier for test and production aircraft.

The original, heavier wing was delivered in the first flight test vehicle of the Global 7000, which has accumulated 100 flight hours since November. The redesigned, lighter wing will be delivered later this year.

Bombardier plans to start flight testing the second Global 7000 before the second quarter begins in April, Bellemare says.

“The design of the wing is largely completed,” Bellemare says. “We’re in the final phase of making sure the lightweight wing, as we call it, is being finalised.”

Entry into service for the Global 7000 remains on track for the second half of 2018.

Though there may still be “hiccups” in development, Bellemare emphasised the maturity of the Global 7000 so far by comparing it to the first few months of flight testing the CS100 airline in late 2013. By comparison, the Global 7000 is “two to three times” more mature than the CS100 at this stage, he says.

The Global 7000 is based on the same fly-by-wire system architecture as the CSeries aircraft family, a subsystem the company blamed for many of the delays in the CSeries flight test programme.

“It shows we’ve been building on the lessons learned from the CSeries,” Bellemare says.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/weight-reduction-cited-for-global-7000-wing-redesign-434265/

Category: Uncategorized
February 18

Embraer names outsider as new Executive Jets CEO

Embraer has hired a corporate aircraft finance executive to become the next president and chief executive of the Executive Jets division on 1 March, replacing Marco Tulio Pellegrini.

Michael Amalfitano joins Embraer Executive Jet after a 35-year in the aircraft leasing business, including leadership positions at GE Capital and Stonebriar Commercial Finance.

Amalfitano inherits a division that has transitioned since last year from a decade-long pursuit of multiple development projects to a production operation with a broad portfolio of light and midsize jets, along with VIP derivatives of Embraer’s commercial regional jets.

“I´m honored to assume the executive position Marco has held,” Amalfitano says in a statement, “and leverage our highly valued portfolio of aircraft to the benefit of our customers and shareholders globally.”

Pelligrini will assume a new leadership position that will be announced later, Embraer says.

Pelligrini, a veteran Embraer employee, assumed his current role on 1 January 2014, succeeding Ernest Edwards.

In appointing Amalfitano, Embraer returns to form in bringing in an external candidate to lead the Executive Jets division. The division was founded more than 15 years ago by former Brook Group consultant Sam Hill, who is now the CEO of general aviation manufacturer Quest. Hill was succeeded by in 2005 by Edwards, who came in from Swift Aviation Group and is now the chief commercial officer for supersonic jet developer Aerion.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/embraer-names-outsider-as-new-executive-jets-ceo-434278/

Category: Uncategorized
February 16


What ignited your interest in aviation?

I was introduced to aviation through the 2006 Mountbatten internship I did with RBS Aviation Capital in New York. The current chief executive of Embraer’s commercial aircraft division, John Slattery, took me under his wing to help support his sales team and I got exposure to commercial aviation and finance for the first time. I enjoyed the scale and relevance of the industry and met some great characters, who I still count as friends today.

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Tell us about your career to date

I have had a varied career over the past decade in commercial, corporate and rotary wing aviation. I experienced commercial and corporate jet financing with sales roles at RBS in Dublin and London, managed a fleet of leased aircraft at CHC Helicopter and looked after a distressed UK and Nordic portfolio at GE Capital before moving into my current role at AirFinance. We work as a qualified adviser to the US Ex-Im Bank, sourcing deals and conducting due diligence on customers requiring funding assistance where other commercial lenders are unable to provide financing solutions. It is fair to say that I have seen both the good and bad times in the cycle in my relatively short career.

Why did you launch FlyFunder?

I have always fancied myself as a bit of an entrepreneur. My role involves going out and trying to find deals in a global niche market and I noticed very quickly that the process of finding finance as a buyer or financing opportunities as a funder was highly inefficient. Given the success of similar platforms in other markets – comparison and dating websites for example – it seemed a no-brainer that a simple, secure platform would help industry participants engage with each other to do business more efficiently. FlyFunder allows those seeking funding to announce non-sensitive details regarding their financing requirements and deal information – aircraft type, deal size and borrower country, for example – and securely matches them to financiers who set high-level lending criteria. Financiers are notified when deals that meet their criteria are announced and are directed to the site to connect with buyers. I pitched the idea to Airfinance, who shared my enthusiasm for the idea and we set about refining the business model and appointing a developer to turn our plan into something that looked and felt right for the market.

What impact will this have on the business and general aviation aircraft finance market?

Manufacturers, brokers, financiers and buyers will all benefit from the increased connectivity with buyers finding their best funding solution by seeing a range of options. Manufacturers and brokers source financing quickly and efficiently for customers looking to buy and financiers can find opportunities without leaving their desk.

In the same way that we have seen disruptive technologies change the way some markets operate (Uber – for taxis, Airbnb – for accommodation, and Expedia or Skyscannner – for flights), we believe FlyFunder will make financing more accessible for new industry participants. We have already seen significant interest from some non-standard sources of funding such as hedge funds, which are interested in dipping their toe into the market without hiring a full sales team to find leads.

Tell us about your job

In addition to heading the FlyFunder project, I cover helicopters globally and jets/turboprops in Asia Pacific for Airfinance, and additionally support the businesses’ credit function.

What do you enjoy most?

In the office, getting FlyFunder off the ground (excuse the pun) has been a very fulfilling experience, but I still love the thrill of closing a deal! Out of the office, I can be found on a golf course or watching my favourite English football team, Huddersfield Town.

The least?

In the office, covering a large territory and working for a US company can mean conference calls at some strange hours; out of the office, losing. At anything.

What is the biggest challenge facing the aircraft finance market?

Availability of financing options for buyers with smaller aircraft and in non-standard jurisdictions. Getting financing for a Gulfstream G650 in the US with a decent credit is straightforward. Try getting an appropriately priced solution for an operator buying a Cessna Caravan in Indonesia. Sometimes these aircraft can provide essential services for communities but a lack of financing options means the aircraft are out of reach. It would be nice to see the oil price go up a bit too, to help my old friends in the helicopter industry.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/interview-paul-sykes-flyfunder-helps-general-avia-433128/

Category: Uncategorized
February 16

Learjet 75 faces new production cut in 2017

Bombardier plans to further reduce the production rate for the Learjet 75 this year, the company announces in a financial report filed on 16 February.

The super-light business jet that debuted in 2013 reached a peak of 33 deliveries a year later. Shipments declined to 32 in 2015 and 24 in 2016.

The rate will fall again in 2016, but Bombardier did not disclose the precise number in the financial filings.

Bombardier has orders for 10 Learjet 75s in the backlog entering 2017. After delivering only 13 Learjet 75s through the first nine months of 2016, Bombardier finished strong in the fourth quarter with 11 more deliveries.

In December, Bombardier released financial guidance for 2017 that included a projected 150 overall business jet deliveries, including Learjets, Challengers and Globals.

In financial filings released two months later, the company revised that projection down to 135 deliveries, blaming the reduction “mainly” on a production rate reset for the Learjet 75.

Any further reduction makes Bombardier’s Learjet assembly operations in Wichita, Kansas, even more precarious. After cancelling the Learjet 85 programme last year and recording the last delivery of a Learjet 60XR in 2015, the Learjet 75 remains the only product still in active manufacturing in Wichita.

Since entering service seven years ago, Embraer’s Phenom 300 has dominated the market segment occupied by the Learjet 75, becoming the single most popular aircraft in the entire business jet market, in terms of deliveries.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/learjet-75-faces-new-production-cut-in-2017-434263/

Category: Uncategorized
February 14

Greenpoint secures completion contract for BBJ 787 pair

Boeing Business Jet completions specialist Greenpoint Technologies has secured a contract from an unnamed customer for the completion of a BBJ 787-8 and a 787-9.

The contract marks the first 787-9 completion project for the Kirkland, Washington-based company and its third 787-8. Greenpoint handed over the world’s first VVIP-configured -8 to its private owner in 2016.

“Our clients know the complexity of these programmes and the challenges they present,” says Bret Neely, executive vice-president of the Zodiak Aerospace subsidiary. “Our on-time delivery performance and over 315,000h of 787 engineering design and development experience assure our clients we will perform,” he adds.

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Greenpoint Technologies

Greenpoint says its VVIP interiors are designed in-house, in partnership with its clients.

Boeing records 16 BBJ 787s jets to date – 14 -8s and a pair of -9s. Of these, three units are in service and six are undergoing completion, the airframer says.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/greenpoint-secures-completion-contract-for-bbj-787-p-434139/

Category: Uncategorized
February 14

Pacific Aerospace delivers first P-750 to Thailand

New Zealand’s Pacific Aerospace has delivered the first P-750 XSTOL to the Thai market, as its looks to double annual shipments of the single-engined turboprop in 2017.

The aircraft was handed over in early February to skydiving company Freefall Thailand. The skydiving market accounts for about a third of P-750 sales with the remainder ranging from ad hoc charter and scheduled services to cargo transport and pipeline inspection.

“We have sold 112 P-750s to date,” says Mark Crouch, Pacific’s general manager, global markets. Papua New Guinea, with its remote communities, rough terrain and poor transport network, has become the largest market for the seven-seat type with 18 aircraft in service. “XSTOL stands for extreme take-off and landing, and this capability is essential for aircraft operating within this country,” says Crouch.

The Pratt Whitney Canada PT6A-34-powered P-750 can take off and land in less than 800ft (244m). It has a maximum speed of 170kt (315km/h) and a range of 1,180nm (2,190km).

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Pacific Aerospace

Crouch believes the P-750’s short-field performance will also be a major draw for operators across South America, a market it has yet to penetrate. “We haven’t cracked this region yet,” he says, “but there is so much potential here for this aircraft”.

Pacific delivered 12 P-750s in 2016 – double the output for the previous year – and plans to ship 25 units in 2017. “We plan to double the number again by 2019,” says Crouch.

China’s growing appetite for the P-750 should also help it to reach its 2019 delivery goal. “This market is very strong,” Crouch says.

Pacific set up a joint venture last year with Beijing General Aviation Company to assemble P-750s for the Chinese market. The facility in Changzhou has the capacity to build up to 100 units a year. “We supply aircraft kits to the factory, which are then assembled and delivered to Chinese customers,” Crouch says. The first aircraft was completed late last year and the second kit is packed and awaiting delivery. “We are also about to ferry-fly two finished aircraft from our Hamilton base to China, while another two units are in production and scheduled for delivery this year,” Crouch says.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/pacific-aerospace-delivers-first-p-750-to-thailand-434163/

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