FINN editor-in-chief Alan Peaford takes a look at the new launches, variants and gadgets at this year’s NBAA Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Las Vegas

NBAA, which took place in Las Vegas this week, is the world’s largest business aviation show.

The show saw two major new aircraft launches: Pilatus unveiled a new generation of its PC-12 turboprop, the PC-12 NGX, powered by a new Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 engine.

A mock-up of the new Gulfstream G700 was also unveiled. The aircraft is a response to the Bombardier 75-00 and was developed in secrecy in Savannah. It offers a range of 7,500 miles, short of its Canadian rival, but delivers the largest cabin of any traditional business jet. Launch customer positions were secured by Qatar Executive and Flexjet.

Intelligent engines

Rolls-Royce has developed the “intelligent” Pearl 700 engine for the new Gulfstream, which is set up to monitor performance and uses AI and analytics to meet targets

Other news from the show included the Italian Tecnam P2012 Traveller which is planning a VIP variant. Embraer inked a $1.4 billion deal with Flexjet for the 64 of its new jets including the new Praetor.

New variants of earlier models were also on show – these included the fastest and largest cabin lightjet, the Syberjet SJ30i; the speedy TBM 940 and a mock up of the revived Learjet 75 to be called Liberty.

Gadgets and connectivity

Inside the cabin, Gojibox was showing how their device enabled geo-triggered content. It also delivers on demand video and saves weight.

Connectivity was a major theme, both in terms of delivery of predictive maintenance data and for improving passenger experience. Gogo says it has more than 1,000 AVANCE inflight connectivity systems installed and is flying across a wide array of business aircraft. The most recent adopter will be Embraer following a deal for the Phenom 300 aircraft, signed at the show.

Disruptor OneWeb is also moving into the business aviation market with a promise of connectivity above the remotest of areas even bringing the polar regions alive.

FINN also had the chance to test out Honeywell’s Connected Aircraft system, JetWave, streaming live, at more than 30,000ft in a Dassault Falcon 7X. The system enables greater connectivity for passengers and the fast data links are also used by the pilots to send flight data to the ground.

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