January 14

Piper M600 secures Canadian approval as Archer orders rack up

Piper Aircraft has secured Canadian type certification for its M600 single-engined turboprop, and is preparing to begin deliveries of the flagship aircraft to local customers in February.

While the US airframer is tight-lipped on the size of its Canadian M600 orderbook, it does reveal that it has “several aircraft scheduled for delivery to the country” in 2017. Piper expects additional sales to come from local operators of its M500 entry-level turboprop-single and the piston-engined M350 “stepping up” to the six-seat model.

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Piper Aircraft

“M600 validation in Canada is exciting news for Piper and our prospective customers in that region,” says chief executive Simon Caldecott. “We have seen quite a bit of interest from Canadian owner/operators given the expanded range, payload and speed that the M600 offers.”

PIper lists the maximum cruise speed as 274kt (510km/h) and range as 1,480nm (2,670km), allowing it to connect major Canadian and US city pairs such as Quebec City or Vancouver to Winnipeg and Toronto to Miami or Anchorage.

Piper says the $2.9 million M600 “successfully addresses a segment of the market currently unserved in general aviation and at a price point significantly below that of our competitors.” These include the $4.9 million Pilatus PC-12NG and the $4.1 million Daher TBM 930.

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Piper Aircraft

The Pratt Whitney Canada PT6A-42A-powered M600 entered service in June 2016 following a 15-month certification campaign; Flight Fleets Analyzer records 15 deliveries of the type to date.

Brazilian and European certifications are expected in the first and second quarters of 2017, respectively.

Meanwhile. Piper has received an order from its Chinese dealership for 50 Archer piston singles. Beijing-based China Air Shuttle says the four-seat aircraft will help to feed the country’s growing pilot training school market.

Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2017, with local training provider and Seminole piston-twin operator Ruixiang Flight Academy the launch customer.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/piper-m600-secures-canadian-approval-as-archer-order-433059/

Category: Uncategorized
January 12

328 Support collaborates with Duncan on Challenger 604 refurbishment

Germany’s 328 Support Services has teamed with US engineering and completions company Duncan Aviation to certificate and deliver a fully refurbished Bombardier Challenger 604 business jet.

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328 Support Services

The Finnish-registered aircraft was handed over to its private owner last month, and the partners are planning to collaborate on other projects in 2017. Oberpfaffenhofen-based 328, a subsidiary of US company Sierra Nevada, has worked with Duncan on 31 business aircraft refurbishment and engineering projects since 2014, ranging from a long-range Bombardier Global Express to a superlight Cessna Citation Excel.

On the recent Challenger 604 project, 328 says it “verified all the engineering data and certificated the modification with a new European Aviation Safety Agency Part 21 minor change approval”. Duncan handled all the production, installation and testing activity for the large-cabin jet at its Battle Creek, Michigan facility.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/328-support-collaborates-with-duncan-on-challenger-6-433079/

Category: Uncategorized
January 12

Germany to acquire used A321 for VIP missions

Germany has signed a deal with the special mission division of MRO provider Lufthansa Technik (LHT) for the acquisition and conversion of an Airbus A321 for its air force.

Berlin values the agreement, signed on 5 January, at €90 million ($96 million), which also includes spare parts and training.

Conversion work is due to take place at LHT’s Hamburg facility and will initially be performed to civilian certification standards. Subsequently it will seek military airworthiness approval for any further modifications, such as the addition of a defensive aids suite.

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The converted airliner is scheduled to enter service in 2018, says the defence ministry, and will be based alongside its other VIP aircraft at Cologne-Wahn air base.

Germany currently operates two ACJ319s, a pair of A340 widebodies, and four Bombardier Global 5000 business jets.

It has not detailed the layout for the conversion, but refers to the A321’s ability to “transport 70 passengers”.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/germany-to-acquire-used-a321-for-vip-missions-433125/

Category: Uncategorized
January 11

Gama Aviation secures special mission contracts, as revenues rise

UK business aviation services provider Gama Aviation has secured two long-term special-mission contracts, which it says will help to bolster revenues by more than £10 million ($12.2 million).

The awards come as the Farnborough-headquartered company has reported an increase in revenues of more than 10% for the 12 months ended December 2016.

Gama’s first new contract was awarded by the UK’s National Police Air Service for the provision of maintenance, continuing airworthiness support and spare parts for its four Vulcanair P68R piston twins. The deal is for an initial three-year term, with an option to extend by two more years. The company has also secured a contract from an existing, unnamed client to provide aerial survey missions for a five-year term.

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Gama Aviation

“We are delighted to be starting the year positively with these two important awards, representing over £10 million in revenues over the period of the contracts,” Gama founder and chief executive Marwan Khalek says. “Both were competitive, and winning them reflects our strong special-mission capability in the UK, both as a primary and secondary contractor.”

Khalek is referring to long-established contracts such as with Scotland’s healthcare supplier, for which Gama has been providing ambulance support with Beechcraft King Air twin-engined turboprops since 1993.

Gama saw its revenues climb by more than 10% in 2016, mainly as a result of a rise in its global managed aircraft fleet from 147 to 165 units and a robust performance from its US operation. The company expects the growth to continue throughout 2017 and beyond. Its optimism is sparked by the merger on 1 January of its US management and charter business with the Landmark Aviation arm of fellow UK business aviation services company BBA Aviation. The partnership, which is known as Gama Aviation Signature Aircraft Management, has a fleet of more than 200 aircraft.

“This has been a busy and productive year for Gama Aviation,” Khalek says of 2016. “We have targeted and delivered organic growth and operational efficiencies despite challenging markets in some regions,” he adds, referring to the European market, where its charter and management services business saw a 15% fall in revenues, attributed to soft market conditions.

“The recent combination of our US aircraft management business with BBA is a clear demonstration of our determination to build scale into our business in ways that add value to our shareholders,” Khalek notes.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/gama-aviation-secures-special-mission-contracts-as-432984/

Category: Uncategorized
January 11

Dassault Falcon shipments fall again in 2016

Dassault Falcon business jet deliveries continued to slide in 2016, showing another year-on-year fall as a result of prolonged weakness in the large-cabin business jet market.

According to preliminary figures released by the French airframer on 5 January, Dassault shipped a combined 49 Falcon 2000S/LXS, 900LX, 7X and 8X business jets for the year to 31 December 2016.

Although Dassault says this is in line with its forecast of 50 shipments for the year, it represents a second consecutive fall in annual deliveries, dropping from 55 Falcons handed over in 2015 and 67 in 2014.

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Amjet Executive

Highlights for 2016 included the first delivery of its flagship 8X in October to Greek operator Amjet Executive; a further two units were delivered before the end of the year, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows.

Dassault also recorded a 17% fall in net sales during 2016, to 21 aircraft, with its backlog showing similar levels of erosion, dropping to 63 Falcons by 31 December – 28 fewer than the previous year.

Cancellations in 2016 included 12 examples of its developmental 5X large-cabin, long-range jet. This was originally scheduled for certification in 2017, but problems with the its Snecma Silvercrest engines have pushed back service entry to 2020.

Dassault will release its full 2016 financial performance on 8 March.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/dassault-falcon-shipments-fall-again-in-2016-433005/

Category: Uncategorized
January 5

Mexico receives special mission Citations

Bird Aerosystems has supplied the Mexican air force with an undisclosed number of airborne surveillance intelligence and observation (ASIO) systems based on Cessna Citation aircraft.

The aircraft have been converted to carry the different sensors that comprise the ASIO system, and in addition were re-engined to carry the Williams FJ44.

According to Shaul Mazor, the company’s vice-president of marketing and business development, ASIO is a multi-role surveillance aircraft designed for military and environmental monitoring roles.

Mexico has acquired the aircraft to monitor sensitive infrastructure sites such as fuel pipelines and power stations.

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Bird Aerosystems

“The ASIO uses the latest surveillance sensors and technologies available,” Mazor says, adding that the Cessna Citation proved to be an ideal platform for patrol missions.

“The modified Citation aircraft is offered either as a direct sale or as part of a leasing service agreement,” he adds. “This enables the aircraft to be delivered with very short lead times and provides users with an immediate operational solution.”

The ASIO system typically includes a high-resolution electro-optical/infrared camera, synthetic aperture radar, a communication intelligence payload, an electronic intelligence payload, side-looking airborne radar, and a satellite communications data link.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/mexico-receives-special-mission-citations-432840/

Category: Uncategorized
January 3

BBA and Gama merge US charter and management operations

Two UK-headquartered business aircraft services providers, Gama Aviation and BBA Aviation, have merged their US charter and management operations to form the largest aircraft management business in the country, with a combined 200-strong fleet.

The partnership – which will trade as Gama Aviation Signature Aircraft Management – will create what Gama calls “a market-leading platform” for both companies to expand their presence in the “single biggest aviation market in the world”.

The venture agreement, which closed on 1 January, also gives both parties full coverage of the US market, with BBA’s predominantly West Coast-based fleet complementing Gama’s East Coast-centric business.

“Customers will benefit from the scale of the combined business through enhanced national and global service coverage and improved buying power, which will enable us to pass on significant cost savings to them,” says Farnborough, UK-headquartered Gama.

“They will also benefit from the comprehensive line maintenance support provided by Gama’s US ground-based business and BBA’s Signature Flight Support fixed base operator network,” Gama adds – although it stresses that these businesses are not part of the deal.

Signature is the world’s largest FBO chain with more than 200 bases worldwide, including about 130 in the USA.

BBA’s US aircraft charter and management activities operate under the Landmark Aviation banner. BBA acquired Landmark in 2015 for more than $2 billion, marking the biggest transaction in the history of the business aviation services industry. Landmark’s portfolio included more than 110 business aircraft and 68 FBOs which are now part of the Signature network.

Gama and BBA have established a holding company – GB Aviation Holdings – to oversee the venture, in which each has a 50% share.

Gama chief executive Marwan Khalek says: “The enlarged business creates a market leader and an unrivalled platform for growing our share of this massive business aviation market.

“The combination diversifies our customer base and extends our network coverage nationally while simplifying the financial arrangements with our US partners. As part of this strategically important transaction, we are also excited by the potential to cross-sell our US maintenance services into the enlarged fleet.”

BBA chief executive Simon Pryce says the agreement “marks another milestone” for the business, creating a leading charter and fleet management company “whose scale will benefit both us and our customers”.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/bba-and-gama-merge-us-charter-and-management-operati-432834/

Category: Uncategorized
January 3

Garmin launches next-generation G1000 integrated flightdeck

Garmin has launched a new iteration of its 12-year-old G1000 integrated flightdeck, which it says boasts significant performance enhancements over the first-generation model.

The Beechcraft King Air 200 is the launch platform for the system, dubbed the G1000NXi, and approval for the King Air 300/350 family is imminent, says Garmin.

Since its introduction in 2004, more than 16,000 G1000 systems have been installed on business and general aviation aircraft worldwide. The flightdeck features on a host of in-production models, including the Cessna Caravan, Daher TBM 900, Piper M500 and Quest Kodiak single-engined turboprops, Diamond DA42 and DA62 piston twins and the Citation Mustang entry-level business jet – the latter having been the launch platform for the flightdeck. New production aircraft are expected to incorporate the latest version.

Garmin says while the first-generation G1000 will be phased out, it will continue to support the product for “many years to come”.

The NXi version has a host of new features, including wireless cockpit connectivity, enhanced situational awareness, visual approaches and map overlay on the horizontal situation indicator. NXi-equipped aircraft will also meet US and European automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast (ADS-B) requirements, says Garmin.

“As innovators in the avionics industry, we’re excited to introduce the G1000NXi,” says Garmin’s vice-president of aviation marketing and sales, Carl Wolf. The latest iteration builds on the success of the G1000, but is faster, more up to date and lighter than its predecessor, the company says. It is estimated to provide a weight saving of more than 113kg (250lb) in a King Air, giving operators the option to carry additional baggage, passengers and/or fuel.

Describing the NXi’s features as “superior”, Wolf says he is confident the system “will carry on the lineage and achieved level of distinction that pilots and aircraft owners have come to associate with a Garmin integrated flightdeck”.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/garmin-launches-next-generation-g1000-integrated-fli-432839/

Category: Uncategorized
January 1

MEBAA: XJet upgrades Stansted but waits to open in Dubai

US FBO operator XJet is upgrading one of its two facilities – at London Stansted – as it continues to target openings in Saudi Arabia and Dubai.

The company, which was founded in 2007 and offers its customers a membership model, moved its headquarters from Denver to Dubai two years ago with the intention of launching FBOs in the region, where many of its upscale clients are based. However, plans announced at MEBAA 2014 to have these under way by 2015 have been thwarted so far, admits chief executive and founder Josh Stewart.

“We are still pushing for both. We believe this region needs our model,” he says.

Meanwhile, XJet has been upgrading its Stansted operation, which it claims is the largest FBO in Europe. It includes the former Diamond hangar, capable of housing two Boeing 747s, that XJet acquired in 2014. The company is also adding a majilis lounge – targeted at a Middle Eastern clientele – to its passenger terminal.

The company launched its “seven-star membership scheme” with its hangar at Denver’s Centennial airport in 2007. Stewart says XJet’s philosophy was a reaction to the fact that FBOs in North America “had not changed their gas station business model in 70 years”.

Under XJet’s business model, “anchor tenants” get near exclusive use of its facilities in return for a membership payment.

For all the coverage from MEBAA visit our dedicated landing page

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/mebaa-xjet-upgrades-stansted-but-waits-to-open-in-d-432147/

Category: Uncategorized