Business Aviation May 2013

Cessna Aircraft rolled out the first production version of its flagship New Citation X business jet at the company’s Wichita, Kansas manufacturing facility on 15 April. The new aircraft was first announced at the NBAA show in 2010 and offers a top speed of Mach 0.935, making it the world’s fastest civil aircraft.

6th May 2013


Business Aviation

 Cessna rolls out first production-model New Citation X

Cessna Aircraft rolled out the first production version of its flagship New Citation X business jet at the company’s Wichita, Kansas manufacturing facility on 15 April.

The new aircraft was first announced at the NBAA show in 2010 and offers a top speed of Mach 0.935, making it the world’s fastest civil aircraft.

“Speed is the reason for flight. It was true for Clyde Cessna in 1927, and it’s true today,” says Cessna chief executive officer Scott Ernest.

The New Citation X also provides a longer cabin than its predecessor, the Citation X, and a longer range of 3,242nm, making it easily capable of flying between New York and London. The cockpit features the Garmin G5000 integrated avionics package, with three 14 inch displays and four touch-screen controllers.

Cessna has already completed more than 675 hours of flight-testing on two test aircraft. Certification is expected later this year with deliveries starting “shortly thereafter”, Cessna says.

The New Citation X is to offer a maximum altitude of 51,000ft, allowing it to fly above commercial traffic or adverse weather. Perhaps the most distinctive external difference from older Citation Xs are the aircraft’s winglets, which allow it to cruise efficiently at higher altitudes, reduce fuel consumption and improve hot-and-high take-off and landing performance.


 Gulfstream Beijing reports steady growth

Gulfstream Aerospace says its Gulfstream Beijing service centre has seen steady growth since it opened last November.

“We’re seeing more customers every week,” says Mark Burns, president of Gulfstream Product Support. “Our technical staff has serviced more than 40 aircraft since we began operations. We’re not just working on aircraft at the facility – we’re sending technicians on road trips to assist operators.”

Gulfstream, the first business jet manufacturer to offer factory service in China, says it invested in the centre because its aircraft fleet in mainland China and Hong Kong has grown to more than 105 jets. The company also felt the service centre would help meet its commitment to “first-rate customer service”.

“We at Gulfstream understand [the customers’] needs better by being near their base of operation,” says Burns. “Our centralised support leads to lower maintenance costs for them and increased availability of their aircraft.”

Gulfstream Beijing is a joint venture between the aircraft maker and two subsidiaries of Hainan Airlines Group – Hainan Aviation Technik (HNAT) and Beijing Capital Airlines, (operating as Deer Jet). Deer Jet operates a charter fleet that includes more than 40 Gulfstream aircraft, while HNAT offers aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services.

The service centre is located at Beijing Capital International Airport and consists of an 82,000-square-foot (7,618 square metre) hangar and 22,000 square feet of offices and back shops. The facility is certified by the Civil Aviation Administration of China as a Part 145 repair station, which means its technicians can perform maintenance and upgrades on airframes, avionics, powerplants and interiors on Chinese-registered aircraft.

The service centre is now authorised to work on Gulfstream’s G550, G450 and G200 models. CAAC certification for the company’s new aircraft, the flagship G650 and the super mid-sized G280, is expected in the coming months, along with authorisations for the GV and GIV.

Gulfstream’s in-service fleet in the Asia-Pacific region, which includes Australia, India and Singapore, has grown from 27 aircraft in 2001 to more than 200 today.

 

BOMBARDIER AEROSPACE announced on 28 March that it will extend the warranty of its Challenger 605 business jet. The basic warranty of the aircraft will be extended from three years or 3,000 hours now, to five years or 5,000 hours. Michel Ouellette, Bombardier’s vice-president and general manager for the programme, says the decision was made as a result of customer feedback. The new warranty will be standard on all Challenger 605s delivered after 1 April this year. Systems and components coverage has been increased to five years or 5,000 hours, while avionics remains unchanged at five years with no flight-hour limitation. Primary structure coverage will remain at ten years or 10,000 hours, while engine remains unchanged at five years or 2,500 hours.

EMBRAER completed the maiden flight of the third prototype of its mid-size Legacy 500 business jet on 22 March. The flight “is a major milestone for the programme,” says Ernest Edwards, president of Embraer Executive Jets. “The first and second prototypes already have logged 122 hours on 66 flights with testing proceeding as anticipated.”
First rolled out on 25 February, aircraft SN 003 is now being used to test avionics, noise, electrical systems and the interior. As part of its interior-testing programme, Embraer took the unusual step of producing a fully-fitted ground-based interior rig, to take managers and engineers on virtual flights lasting between two and six hours, testing comfort, reliability and durability. The certification campaign has included more than 13,000 hours on the Legacy 500 Iron Bird systems test facility, since it was first powered up in 2010.

 

 

Asian Aviation at a glance