Al Marsh Archive
On an upbeat note, here are new jets coming down the line:
Bombardier has announced the Challenger 350. Startup customer is NetJets in 2014.
Nextant Aerospace is upgrading its Nextant 400XT (based on the Hawker 400) to the 400XTi. The company captured the early lead in a race with Beechcraft to modernize the Hawker 400 fleet after the former Hawker Beechcraft delayed its modificaton program six weeks due to cash-flow problems. The upgrade includes two 3,050-lbst Williams FJ44-3AP engines. The choice of engines is a heatedly contested argument between Nextant and Beechcraft.
While Beechcraft has no jets coming down the soon-to-be-sold jet line, upgrades to the Hawker 400XPR continue. Winglets developed at Sierra Industries will be certified in the fall and made available for installation at Beechcraft service centers. Originally, certification of the winglets was expected in January 2013 with deliveries in February. The 400XPR also includes conversion to 3,200-pound-thrust Williams FJ44-4A-32 engines.
Cessna is coming out this year with its M2, the new profit-saving (Cessna-saving?) Sovereign, the new Citation X, and in the first quarter of 2014, the first flight of the Latitude with certification in 2015. The Mach 0.86 Longitude (Cessna’s biggest jet for the next five years) will enter service in 2017. A single-engine turboprop is still in testing, still not ready for public announcement. The SMA diesel-powered piston-engine Skylane JT-A will be certified in June.
“As a result of employee furloughs due to sequestration, the FAA is implementing traffic management initiatives at airports and facilities around the country. Travelers can expect to see a wide range of delays that will change throughout the day depending on staffing and weather related issues. For example, the FAA is experiencing staffing challenges at the New York and Los Angeles En Route Centers and at the Dallas-Ft. Worth and Las Vegas TRACONs. Controllers will space planes farther apart so they can manage traffic with current staff, which will lead to delays at airports including DFW, Las Vegas and LAX. The FAA also expects delays at Newark and LaGuardia because of weather and winds.
“The FAA will continue to work with the airlines throughout the day to try and minimize delays for travelers. We encourage all travelers to check their flight status and also to visit fly.faa.gov for the latest airport delay information.
“Yesterday more than 1,200 delays in the system were attributable to staffing reductions resulting from the furlough. There were more than 1,400 additional delays as a result of weather and other factors.”
So do your job, public. Sound off about how steamed you are over the delays. After all, you’re part of the game. Personally, I don’t like games.
Just a quick shoutout to Southwest, where tighter seating arrangements mean arms and knees of fellow passengers are glued to yours for the duration of the trip, and fewer cabin crews are using Southwest’s trademark humor during announcements. In fact, some are downright condescending. Also, thanks, Southwest, for losing the camera tripod used by AOPA photographer Chris Rose on our flight frmo Baltimore to Birmingham April 5.
Airshow performer Greg Koontz got practice with his new Decathlon Xtreme for his Friday, Saturday, Sunday performances at Sun `n Fun, and we got great pictures for an upcoming article on the airplane. That’s Chris Rose on the ground, by prior briefing and agreement, getting the shot of the maneuver that Koontz uses for his ribbon cutting. This airplane had a bird strike the morning the shot was taken, but the cowling crack was quickly glued and repaired. CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE