OEMs & Aftermarket Shops Continue to Advance Business Turbine Options
With NBAA’s BACE2017 right around the corner, Dave Higdon examines the Business Aircraft programs in development and certification with one caveat: Expect to hear more programs announced in Las Vegas this month, along with new progress reports on those listed below…
With years of blood, sweat and capital already invested in its AS2 supersonic business jet (pictured above), Aerion has backers, experienced management, technological expertise shared by Airbus – and a firm order for 20 AS2s from fractional operator Flexjet.
The three-engine Aerion AS2 optimizes aerodynamics with a shaped fuselage to achieve a Mach 1.4 cruise speed, while retaining economical fuel specifics at speeds under Mach 1.0. The company is aiming for first flight by 2023, an aggressive schedule considering the hurdles yet to be overcome, including sonic-boom mitigation while cruising across the continental US.
More from www.aerionsupersonic.com
Bombardier Business Aircraft
The flight test fleet is busy accumulating hours at the company’s Flight Test Center in Wichita, putting the delayed Global 7000 back on track as one of the most capable and expensive private jets in Business Aviation when it comes to market at approximately $72.8m.
With a top cruise speed of Mach 0.925, the Global 7000 will challenge Gulfstream’s speedy G650. Its range will be approximately 7,400nm. With a fuselage of 111 feet in length, the Global 7000 will also lay claim to the title of largest purpose-built business jet yet.
Bombardier remains confident of certification and entry into service during the second half of 2018. Meanwhile, the equally-quick, longer-legged (7,900nm) Global 8000 is on track for service entry next year.
More from http://businessaircraft.bombardier.com
Though it’s a project aimed at the commercial marketplace, expect a small number of Boom’s XB-1 aircraft to make their way into the business aircraft field thanks to size, speed and attractive operating numbers. The advances in efficiency to make this Mach 2.2 airliner possible come from breakthroughs in aerodynamic design, state-of-the-art powerplants and advanced composites in the airframe.
According to Boom Technology, the XB-1 holds promise of operating costs enabling fares 75 percent below those charged for Concorde when it still operated – about the same cost as today’s business class fares.
More from https://boomsupersonic.com
After its first flight back in July, Dassault has been moving its Falcon 5X twinjet rapidly through its certification program. With a shorter range than the smaller, in-service Falcon 7X tri-jet, the Falcon 5X boasts both a larger fuselage diameter and increased cabin volume than the Falcon 7X. This 5,200nm twin jet still faces a lengthy flight-test program, and first deliveries are currently expected in 2020.
The Falcon 8X continues Dassault’s line of tri-jets, this one derived from the 7X, but with a longer range of 6,450nm. The range gain comes courtesy of optimizing the engine output, with further help from refined aerodynamics – including new, lower-drag winglets – and a larger fuel capacity. Dassault gained that increased fuel capacity through changes to the internal wing structure that both lightens the wing while increasing internal space for fuel. Dassault also stretched the cabin by 3.5 feet compared to the 7X.
Meanwhile, don’t be surprised to see another new Falcon twinjet launched this year – perhaps a Falcon 9X, building on the 5X fuselage cross-section.
More from www.dassaultfalcon.com
With five G500 test aircraft flying at present and five more G600 also in flight testing, Gulfstream continues to make steady progress on both of its new large-cabin programs.
The fifth test bed for Gulfstream’s latest large-cabin jet, the G600, entered the flight-test program fitted with the first production interior in line with its role as the cabin testbed for conducting function and reliability testing before the G600 enters service later next year.
As of this writing, the five flight-test G500s have flown more than 3,460 hours over some 905 flights. Gulfstream expects certification and service-entry of its follow-on to the G450 in 2018.
Even before certification and deliveries begin, however, the large-screen Honeywell Symmetry Flight Deck with touch-screen controllers and head-up-displays in each jet are already exciting customers.
More from www.gulfstream.com
The ‘little plane that couldn’t’ continues to reach for market success after predecessor ownership failed to close the loop on making the Eclipse 500 an air-taxi mainstay. The original Very Light Jet remains a viable option for low-cost entry into business jet ownership, and the newest variant, the Eclipse 700, promises to deliver on improvements suggested by owners of the existing Eclipse 500 and 550 jets.
With its first test flight on September 1, an Eclipse 500 fitted with the larger Eclipse 700 wing demonstrated the speed, climb and handling benefits One Aviation sought in enlarging both the wing span (by 2 feet) and wing-root areas – in order to increase fuel capacity. Future test beds will introduce the new Garmin G3000 avionics package into the development effort, while other test beds will tackle the new Williams FJ33 powerplants and a 14-inch stretch to the fuselage.
Ultimately, One Aviation’s goal for the Eclipse 700 is a notably improved jet capable of climbing directly to 43,000 feet, cruising at 373 knots, boasting the ability to better operate from more hot and high airports, while extending the NBAA range to about 1,500nm.
Meanwhile, evolved over more than a decade out of the Farnborough F1 single-engine turboprop, One Aviation’s Kestrel 350 is a highly refined version crafted of carbon-fiber composites and powered by a single turboprop engine. Development continues, though it appears to command a lower priority than the Eclipse jet.
Cruise speed is targeted in the 320 knot bracket, range upward of 1,300nm, carrying a pilot, four passengers and luggage. Certification efforts are underway while the company raised more funds to capitalize development.
More from www.oneaviation.aero
The PC-24 SVJ (Super Versatile Jet) is Pilatus’ first business jet and entered its flight-test phase with a different approach than most other business jets, taking its basic characteristics from the highly successful PC-12 propjet rather than more typical business jets. Those attributes include the large aft cargo door, rough-field landing gear and runway performance suitable for STOL operations.
With a range approaching 2,000nm – comparable to its competition – the PC-24’s runway performance beats all comers, while the gear itself sports a design tailored to short, rough, unimproved runways. Operators won’t have much longer to wait. At the time of writing, the first PC-24s were due for delivery before the close of 2017.
More from www.pilatus-aircraft.com
Spike’s S-512 is shooting for a cruise speed of Mach 1.6 while taking a different approach to the main cabin – a windowless design with panoramic interior displays of the view outside. A twin-engine jet, the S-512 will seat 18 and cruise at Mach 1.6.
The company plans to fly a subsonic prototype before year’s end and follow up with a supersonic test bed in 2018. Among the entities contributing input and technology are NASA, Boeing, Gulfstream, Lockheed Martin – and even the FAA.
More from www.spikeaerospace.com
Debuted in July at EAA AirVenture 2017, the revised Stratos 714 sported many revisions since its initial proof-of-concept appearance a few years earlier. CEO Michael Lemaire has described the Stratos 714 as a multi-mission VLJ designed to serve air-taxi operations, corporate and personal owners, and offer excellent operating economies (thanks to its single jet engine, glass cockpit, sidestick controllers and excellent useful load).
Top the tanks and load four people for legs as long as 1,600nm while cruising at 400 knots, or stop short of full fuel and the 714 will offer the ability to fly up to 1,200nm carrying six. The timetable and price of this project remain fluid while the company continues to gather input from prospective customers.
More from https://stratosaircraft.com
Known initially as the SJ30, today’s revised, resurrected SyberJet retains its original claims as the world’s fastest, longest-range, largest-payload light jet. The SJ30 boasts of a high speed cruise of Mach 0.83, a range of 2,500nm, with a sea level cabin to Flight Level 410.
The Ed Swearingen-designed, highly swept wing, lends itself to high altitude, high-speed and low fuel-consumption cruising; leading edge slats and flaps bring back low-speed capabilities that keep it a FAR 23 airplane. And as one of the original customers for the Williams FJ44-2A powerplants, SJ30 operators can count on excellent support and a broad service network.
More from www.syberjet.com
Sometimes the best way forward involves a step back, and that’s the solution Textron Aviation applied to the Citation Longitude when changing its choice of powerplants (to the Honeywell HTF 7000-series engines). Now the Longitude is on-track to achieve certification this year, albeit with slightly shorter legs of 3,500nm. It will still be the largest Citation yet built – but not for long…
That’s because the Citation Hemisphere is coming down the developmental pipeline, a 4,500nm jet and a strong seller thanks to the pent-up demand for a long-range Citation model. But patience is in order for anyone anxious to embrace the Hemisphere. First flight isn’t expected until 2019.
Meanwhile, Cessna’s first pressurized propjet single, the Cessna Denali is projected to deliver a cruise range of 1,600nm with four passengers at speeds up to 285 knots at altitudes up to Flight Level 310. The Denali sports a massive 53×59-inch rear cargo door that exceeds, slightly, the door on its main competition target, the Pilatus PC-12, and a digital pressurization system that maintains a 6,130 foot cabin to 31,000 feet. The Denali cabin measures the same height as the PC-12, with an extra three inches of width but two inches less length.
Cessna engineers designed the Denali with a flat-floor cabin measuring 16 feet, 9 inches long, equal to Cessna’s long-running, slower and unpressurized Grand Caravan EX turboprop utility single. Other cabin dimensions match up closely – 58 inches high by 63 inches wide for the Denali, 54 inches high and 64 inches wide for the Grand Caravan. Compared to Textron’s King Air 250, the Denali cabin gains an inch in height, nine inches in width, and an inch in length.
Textron anticipates first flight of the $4.8m propjet in 2018 and first deliveries in the latter part of 2019/early 2020.
More from http://cessna.txtav.com
More to Come…
If these options don’t fit your needs or excite your flying juices, well, check back in a year. Several will be certificated and entering service – and other, as yet unknown jets and props will be starting their journey from computer-aided drawing boards to in-test prototypes and headed toward their ultimate destinations – a ramp near you.
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