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Business Air News Bulletin
Business Air News Bulletin
The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.
Me & My Aircraft – Small jets: Buyers are spoilt for choice in crowded small jet segment
Small jets provide crucial coverage for EBAN's readers, and are especially popular in continental Europe and South Africa.
Read this story in our December 2014 printed issue.

Small jets provide crucial coverage for EBAN's readers, and are especially popular in continental Europe and South Africa. The remanufactured 400XT from Nextant is attracting a loyal client base in eastern Europe and the UK, but the lion's share of activity comes from Cessna, whose Citation range from the CJ1 up to newcomer the M2, plus the CE500 and CE550 all fall within 'small jet' parameters. Bombardier's Learjets also play a part, from the LR24 to the LR45 and extending to the updated LR70 and LR75 that have entered service very recently. One cannot omit Honda, whose HondaJet is to become another entrant after an extensive research and development phase. Also knocking at the door is Pilatus' PC-24, which had all of its delivery positions sold for the first three years of production at this year's EBACE. Have no doubt about it – this is a congested and competitive market.

It was time to consult those at the controls once more, as we seek opinion from owners for our final Me & My Aircraft episode of 2014.

Julio Dorado of Aeronaves del Noroeste in Spain operates two Citation 500 SP1s and a Citation 551. He is satisfied with his aircraft in all respects.

JET Circle's Werner Kohler flies a CitationJet and a CJ1 for Swiss-German media organisation He is very pleased with the maintenance support he receives from Cessna Zurich and Altenrhein Aviation, part of the Pilatus group, and is also happy with dispatch reliability and operating capability. He says that the best thing about the aircraft is its short runway performance, but says that its range is a slight let down.

Kambis Ebrahimi is responsible for a year 2000 CJ1 for Germany-based AKE Aviation. He is very satisfied with maintenance and dispatch, but is marginally less pleased with operating capability and value. “Reliability is the best thing about the aircraft,” he comments. “However, preventative treatments for stainless steel corrosion are expensive. I would like to upgrade with a belted toilet seat.”

Gottfried Lagler operates a CJ2+ on behalf of Austria's WG Motorsport. He is very satisfied with dispatch reliability, operating capability and value. “The CJ2+ is cost effective and reliable, but the air conditioning and heating system are the worst things. I would like to upgrade with an APU,” he says. “The cost for JSSI maintenance programmes has gone up to US$800 per hour, and most maintenance expenses are rejected by JSSI.”

East African Air Charters' David Seton flies a Citation Bravo based in Kenya. He is very satisfied across the board with the aircraft, citing versatility as its best feature. He does, however, admit that the temperature in the cockpit is always too hot.

Glen Meter of Plennegy in South Africa has a Falcon 10, and he is satisfied overall with its performance, especially operating capability. Short field performance and speed are its strongest attributes in his opinion, but spares and maintenance can be costly. If he could, he would upgrade to a Learjet 45.

One respondent, who wished to remain anonymous, left feedback for a Phenom 300. They said that they are very satisfied with maintenance, dispatch and operating capability, and also said that value is satisfactory. The landing light is said to be the worst aspect of the aircraft, and the contributor would like to address this, along with the cabin noise.

Frank Achner of Germany's Star Wings Dortmund is responsible for a CJ1. He is satisfied with dispatch and maintenance support, and is very pleased with operating capability. He is also fairly happy with value, and says that its operating costs are the best feature. “The worst things are rust and insufficient hydraulics in newer models,” he remarks. He would like to upgrade to a CJ4.

Nilan's Torben Andersen operates a Citation C550 in Denmark, and is pleased with the maintenance support he receives. Dispatch is very reliable, and he credits this as his favourite aspect of the jet. “Lack of speed is the worst thing,” he says. “My most desired upgrades are more powerful engines and Garmin avionics.”

Hans Rudolf-Woerhl flies for Intro Verwaltungs in Germany using a Beechcraft Premier. He is satisfied with maintenance and operating capability and is full of praise for dispatch and value. “It is a great plane to fly,” he comments, “but there is not enough payload and fuel capacity.” If he could, he would like to upgrade with 800 lbs of extra fuel and 1,400 lbs of increased MTOW.

Axel Klegien manages ops for Germany's Aerowest. He is very satisfied with the company's 2009 Encore+, which he says fills the gap between the turboprops and bigger jets in the fleet such as the Sovereign and XLS+. “We use the Encore+ mainly for passenger work and ambulance flights, as well as occasionally for urgent cargo like AOG parts,” he says. “With our own maintenance, we are able to convert it from passenger into ambulance configuration with stretcher and medical equipment in no time. We are very satisfied with its operating capability and reliability.”

The Encore is based at Aerowest's Hannover facility. “We are doing a lot of ad hoc flights day and night with it and it can be airborne within one hour of confirmation,” he adds. “We do not operate any of our aircraft on behalf of an external owner, so we are completely flexible regarding availability and planning.”

Finally, Mehmet Yilmaz is responsible for a Citation Bravo at PanJet in Turkey. He is satisfied across the board with the aircraft, and comments that it is very economical with low running costs.”

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