Category Archives: aircraft manufacturers

Bob Hoover to be honored by NBAA

Famed air show pilot Bob Hoover will be awarded the Meritorious Service to Aviation Award by the National Business Aviation Association at its annual convention in October.

Hoover served as a combat aviator during World War II, a military and civilian test pilot and air show performer.

He’s piloted more than 300 types of aircraft and is best known for his aerial demonstrations in the P-51 Mustang and Shrike Commander.

During World War II, Hoover was shot down and spent 16 months as a prisoner of war before escaping by commandeering a German fighter.

When he returned to the U.S., he evaluated captured enemy aircraft and flight-tested U.S. combat airplanes, including the first jets.

He was an alternate pilot for the supersonic Bell X-1 and flew the chase plane when Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in 1947.

After leaving the Air Force, Hoover worked for North American Aviation and Rockwell International as a test pilot for more than 30 years.

Spirit AeroSystems adds aviation veteran John Plueger to its board

Spirit AeroSystems has a new member on its board of directors.

John Plueger, president and chief operating officer of Air Lease Corp., has been appointed to Spirit’s board, the company said.

Plueger, 60, previously was  CEO, president and chief operating officer of International Finance Corp.

He is a pilot with multiple jet type ratings. Plueger also holds single-engine, multi-engine and intrument instructor ratings.

“John is a prominent leader in the aerospace industry, who brings a wealth of experience to the table,” Spirit board of directors chairman Bob Johnson said in a statement. “We are very pleased to welcome John to the Spirit board and believe it will be particularly valuable for him to share his expertise from the perspective of the airframe customer.”

Plueger will also serve on the audit committee.

He currently serves on the board of directors of Air Lease Corp., the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Pepperdine University’s Board of Regents and The Wings Club Board of Governors.

Boeing finalizes order from Emirates for 150 777X jetliners

Boeing and Emirates Airline have finalized an order for 150 777Xs, valued at $56 billion at list prices, Boeing announced Wednesday.

The order was first announced as a commitment at the Dubai Airshow last year.  Emirates is the largest 777 operator in the world.

The order is for 115 777-9Xs and 35 777-8Xs. It also includes purchase rights for another 50 planes, which if exercised could increase the order’s value to about $75 billion at list prices.

Spirit AeroSystems builds the 777′s forward fuselage in Wichita.

The 777X is an upgraded version of the 777.

The first 777X delivery is expected in 2020.

Boeing has 300 orders and commitments for the model from six customers.


Boeing delivers first 787-9 Dreamliner to Air New Zealand

Boeing delivered its first 787-9 Dreamliner Wednesday to launch customer Air New Zealand, the company said.

The milestone was marked by a celebration in Everett, Wash., attended by about 1,000 employees, airline executives and guests.

Spirit AeroSystems builds the plane’s composite nose section in Wichita.

The delivery of the 787-9 is the first of 10 planes on order from Air New Zealand and are part of the airline’s fleet modernization effort.

The 787-9 is a derivative of Boeing’s 787-8. The version is stretched by 20 feet and will carry up to 40 more passengers an additional 450 nautical miles, Boeing said.

Boeing has orders for 409 787-9s from 26 customers. That accounts for 40 percent of all 787 orders, it said.

So far, all is quiet at Spirit AeroSystems

Despite lots of rumors and anxiety, it appears all is quiet at Spirit AeroSystems, the day rumored to be a day of a big announcement.

“We don’t comment about rumors, and have no announcements to make at this time,” Ken Evans, Spirit spokesman, said this morning.

In June, Todd Tiahrt, who is running for the 4th Congressional District seat, said sources told him that Spirit appears to be exploring the sale of its metal fabrication work to an outside company.

Tiahrt has been getting calls from concerned employees, he said, including some who told him they had attended meetings about the issue.

Last month, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace asked Spirit to respond to a list of rumors that have been circulating about the possible sale of detail parts fabrication and non-Boeing-related assembly work and about rumors that Boeing was taking back some of its work at the site.

Spirit has steadfastly said it doesn’t comment on rumors.

At the same time, Spirit has its Oklahoma facilities up for sale.

The company has received a lot of interest in those facilities.

So any announcement could involve the Tulsa site, SPEEA Midwest director Bob Brewer has said.

Brewer said Wednesday morning that the union hasn’t heard a thing about any announcements today.

“We’re just talking business here today,” Brewer said. “If something happens, something happens.”

He’s staying tuned.

“It may not be today,” Brewer said. “It could be tomorrow. It could be next week. We don’t know.”


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KC law firm launches unmanned aircraft systems practice

It’s a sign of the times.

Husch Blackwell, a Kansas City, Mo., law firm, has added an Unmanned Aircraft Systems area to its practice.

The firm will help commercial business users and manufacturers navigate the requirements for UAS and unmanned aerial vehicle use, it said.

It can assist clients in legal, privacy and regulatory issues, the firm said in a statement.

The team includes former fighter pilots, component and software developers and data analysts.

A growing number of businesses and government agencies are interested in the use of drones in a broad array of industries, such as energy, agriculture, film and real estate, it said.

“The technical applications of the UAS/UAV industry continue to outpace impending rulemaking regarding certification and operations requirements,” David Agee, who helps lead the UAS group for the firm, said in a statement. “Because of this uncertain environment, operators need trusted counsel to navigate the complicated legal terrain.”

Technology used in drones is rapidly evolving.

Commercial use allows for collection of data, mapping and surveillance of often remote and disparate environments at reduced operating costs when compared to other methods, it said.

Other applications include traffic monitoring, package delivery, atmospheric research, disaster relief and environmental compliance.


Analyst: Cessna used jet data improves; business jet demand on upswing

A favorable trend in Cessna‘s used business jet inventory supports the view that demand for low and mid-size business jets is on the upswing, an aviation analyst said Wednesday.

That bolsters the potential for recovery at Cessna Aircraft, wrote the analyst, Cai von Rumohr with Cowen and Co., in a note to investers.

The number of used business jets on the market is a key indicator for the sale of new business jets.

The total number of used Cessna business jets available for sale was about flat in June when compared to May numbers, von Rumohr wrote.

But the number of used Cessna jets still in production that are up for sale — a far more relevant indicator of new jet demand – dropped from 6 percent of the total fleet in May to 5.3 percent in June, von Rumohr wrote.

That’s the lowest level since February 2008. It’s also well below the peak hit in April 2009 when 11.9 percent of the fleet was up for sale.

The decline was led by falloffs of used CJ4, Sovereigns and the Citation X up for sale, von Rumohr wrote.

Galaxy Technologies, Kansas Aviation win state’s top business honors

Galaxy Technologies in Winfield was honored with the Governor’s Award of Excellence and Kansas Aviation of Independence received the Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award at a banquet on Tuesday.

The awards are the state’s top business honors.

They were awarded as part of Business Appreciation Month, the Kansas Department of Commerce’s annual tribute to Kansas businesses for their contributions to the state.

Galaxy Technologies, founded in 1985 as Galaxy Tool,  is a specialized blow molding manufacturing company in Winfield. It employs 210 people.

Kansas Aviation of Independence specializes in the repair and overhaul of engine accessories on business fixed wing and rotor aircraft. It installs parts on more than 12,000 aircraft engines a year. It employs 81 people.

Finalists for the Governor’s Award of Excellence include Benefit Management in Great Bend, Grandstand Glassware & Apparel in Lawrence, Geary Community Hospital in Junction City and LifeTeam in Newton.

Finalists for the Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award were Balco Inc., in Wichita, GT Manufacturing in Clay Center, Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics in Wichita and Swift Bullet Co. in Quinter.



Boeing sells 777-300ER for use as a business aircraft

Boeing has sold a Boeing 777-300ER for use as a business aircraft to an undisclosed customer, the company said.

The year has been good for Boeing business jet order activity, Capt. Steve Taylor, president of Boeing’s business jet division, said in a statement. “Customers are showing strong interest in our wide-body VIP products, and the BBJ 777-300 ER is an airplane that really provides unmatched comfort and range on long-haul flights.”

It’s the second widebody business jet order this year, the company said.

Boeing introduced the commercial 747-8 and the 787 in 2006 for business use. Since then, widebody jets have accounted for about 40 percent of the business aircraft orders, the company said.

The 777-300ER has a cabin size of 3,641 square feet and a range of 9,220 nautical miles.

Boeing delivers the VIP planes to customers without the customized interior. A completion center of the customer’s choosing then installs the interior.

Boeing’s business jet line includes modified 737 single-aisle commercial airplanes as well as the twin-aisle 747-8, 767, 777 and 787.

Since 1996 when Boeing formed its business jet division, the company has delivered 195 business aircraft and taken orders for 217.

Cessna’s Citation Sovereign+ receives European certification

Cessna Aircraft has announced that its Citation Sovereign+ business jet has received European Aviation Safety Agency certification, Europe’s equivalent of the Federal Aviation Administration.

“We have a number of European customers ready to take delivery of their aircraft, and with EASA certification we can now get the Sovereign+ into the marketplace, ” Chris Henne, Cessna’s vice president of jets, said in a statement.

The Sovereign+ is an upgraded Sovereign, with a new cockpit, winglets, enhanced climb performance and range and Garmin G5000 avionics.

It has a range of 3,188 nautical miles and a top speed of 529 mph.

The plane recently completed a demonstration tour in Europe, where it debuted at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland.