These are FINN’s highlights from this week’s NBAA-BACE business aviation event in Orlando, Florida.
No wonder the industry was flocking to the show as Honeywell’s annual industry outlook revealed a surging demand for large business jets, with 7,700 new jets forecast over the next ten years.
One new contender for those sales could be Aerion’s supersonic jet. The company smashed through a perceived barrier with the announcement that GE now has an engine which works supersonically over water and sub-sonically over land, while meeting all Stage 5 take-off and landing noise requirements. That makes way for a first flight in June 2023. Aerion also named Honeywell to provide state-of-the-art avionics for the AS2
The new engine, named Affinity, has the highest bypass ratio of any supersonic engine and GE said there is a potential for a whole family of Affinity engines, so look out for further prospects for a return to supersonic airliners.
As ever there was razzamatazz. Brazilian firm Embraer stepped up the competition in the midsize sector with two new jets, the Praetor 500 and 600. They won’t replace the current midsize Legacy pairing – instead, they complement them, bringing additional range and technology.
Across the show, range was all the rage. Gulfstream is now promising a 5,500 nautical miles on its G600 jet, far exceeding the 4,800 miles originally promised. The aircraft should be certificated by the end of the year, closely following last month’s approvals of the G500.
The corporate airliners were also in the news. Boeing delivered its first BBJ Max to the Comlux completions centre in Indianapolis. Competitor Airbus added weight to its contender, the ACJ319neo. An extra 900kg payload – handy for all that luggage – is now offered on the re-engined VVIP, which is due for first delivery early next year.
At the other end of the scale, there was a lot of activity in the urban air transport and electric aircraft market. Bye Aerospace is flying its two-seater electric aircraft ahead of the introduction of a new four-seater fully electric air taxi with a four-hour endurance and a cruise speed of 165 knots. Another innovation drawing the crowds was Safran’s new ENGINeUS engine to power electric aircraft
Of course, there was the usual flurry of excitement, as the world’s largest fractional owners, NetJets, inked a deal for 325 Textron Citation Longitude and Hemisphere jets, becoming the launch customer of the proposed largest Citation yet.
Watch the video for the full lowdown.