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New aircraft and products that hope to revolutionise the business aircraft market in Europe were launched at the latest NBAA in Orlando.
Many have been in development for years but new Very Lights Jets and wider bodied aircraft were among the stars at the three-day event which attracted a record attendance of over 33,000.
Eleven fixed-wing aircraft and four helicopters were on the exhibit floor and the static display at Orlando Executive Airport involved 117 aircraft.
Analysts noted a distinct and competitive trend to develop larger cabins in midsize aircraft to accommodate growing passenger demand for more comfort.
The 2006 Honeywell Business Aviation Outlook predicts that new midsize aircraft deliveries will be near to 250 for 2006 and could rise to annually average around 300 units through to 2016.
NBAA aircraft news highlights included: Adam Aircraft: Rick Adam, ceo, announced that A500 certified upgrades included a fully coupled IFR autopilot, day/night VFR/IFR, single pilot operation, leading edge cuffs to improve low speed handling and an expanded c.g. range. The A500 is certified to its full 5.5-psi pressurisation which provides a sea level cabin to 12,500 ft.
Boeing Business Jets: BBJ celebrated its tenth anniversary with the launch of the BBJ 3 which offers 1,120 sq. ft of cabin space, 11 per cent more than the BBJ 2. It can take up to eight auxiliary fuel tanks and has a maximum range of 5,475 nm. The BBJ 3 is based on the next generation 737-900ER (Extended Range). It joins the BBJ, a high-performance derivative of the 737-700, and the BBJ 2, which is based on the 737-800. There is also to be a vip version of the 747-8. It provides a cabin with 4,786 sq. ft. It can carry 100 passengers and fly up to 9,260 nms.
Bombardier: The U.S. FAA has granted approval for the new Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite in the midsize Learjet 60XR. And Transport Canada has granted approval for the new Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite and aircraft window modifications in the next generation Challenger 605.
Cessna: A new derivative of the XLS will be marketed along with the CJ4. The XLS+ will feature fully integrated Collins Pro Line 21 avionics and improve full authority digitally controlled Pratt & Whitney engines. The CJ4 will carry eight passengers and be priced at US$7.9m.
Cirrus: The Cirrus Jet will be powered by a new 1,900lbs thrust variant of the FJ33-44 to be certified
Dassault: The digital Falcon 7X is still classified as experimental under US FAA rules. But Dassault was able to exhibit the first completely digital Falcon 7X with a fully fitted interior at the static park.
EADS Socata presented the latest version of its TBM 850 which will have a new multi-function display Garmin GMX 200 as standard. The GMX200 will integrate a moving map, radar, traffic and terrain into a single display. In addition it will offer the options of XM weather and JeppView en-route and approach charts.
Embraer has chosen DeCrane Aircraft to complete the interior of the Lineage 1000 and signed the contract at NBAA. DeCrane companies will provide the interior completion and certification services, and supply key interior components, including seating, furniture, veneers, and inflight information and entertainment systems.
Grob Aerospace: The manu-facturer, under the new ownership of Swiss based Executive Jet Investments, is celebrating its second SPn light jet prototype becoming the first aircraft to fly with Honeywell Primus Apex integrated avionics on its maiden flight.
Hawker: The Hawker 900XP and the Hawker 750 will evolve from the Hawker 850XP. The 750 will give a super light alternative while the 900 will give longer range.
Honda: The HondaJet will be equipped with three display Garmin avionics. As well as the standard five passenger configuration an air taxi six passenger and two pilot seat alternative will be marketed.
Honda plans to certify the jet for single pilot operations under FAA Part 23 regulations and start deliveries in 2010.
Piaggio: The manufacturer has made a firm commitment to produce a midsize business jet. Ceo Jose Di Mase says it has been considering a jet derivative of its Avanti II for some years.
Pilatus: The Next Generation . PC-12 is scheduled to complete certification by the end of 2007. It will feature fully integrated avionics, increased engine power, a digital dual zone environmental control system and fully automated digital cabin pressure.
Piper: President James Bass announced the PiperJet, a six passenger US$2.2m VLJ that will be certified to a maximum ceiling of 35,000ft for single pilot operation and will be RVSM certified.
Spectrum Aeronautical: The Freedom S-40, a new midsize jet, will be marketed alongside the Independence S-33, the new name for the Spectrum 33 light jet. The S-40 is a larger version of the Independence offering a 21ft stand up cabin made with carbonfibre/epoxy.
The NBAA 60th annual meeting and convention is scheduled for September 25 to 27, 2007, in Atlanta, Georgia.