It’s not a competition you want to have. Corporate Jet Investor has looked at the data and concluded that, compared to 2012, jet deliveries will be down and 2013 will enter history as the worst since 2004. The General Aviation Manufacturers Association looked at the same data and concluded that 2012 was the worst year. Both surveys point to the fact that it can only get better from here. Corporate Jet Investor’s Alasdair Whyte notes that past news stories from EBACE, a jet show starting May 21 in Geneva, Switzerland, have reported a turnaround in the economy every year since 2009. In 2008 a show-news story even said the good times were here to stay. “Rather than pretending that everything is great, we should be honest and say that the market is still tough. Most companies have adapted to this new world. Life goes on. We are, hopefully, at the turning point for the global market now. But as the stories above show, you cannot hype your way out of a downturn,” Whyte said. His company forecast says manufacturers will deliver 44 percent fewer aircraft in 2013 than in 2008. While the light jet market is “suffering badly,” large aircraft deliveries are down, too. “Learjet prices are falling,” the report adds. Speculation not found in the report is that Beechcraft deeply discounted its remaining Hawker jets before selling them all. Beechcraft may sell off its jet business this summer.
On an upbeat note, here are new jets coming down the line:
Bombardier is offering its Learjet 70, 75, and 85 models this year along with the Global 7000 in 2014 and the Global 8000 in 2018.
Bombardier has announced the Challenger 350. Startup customer is NetJets in 2014.
Embraer’s Legacy 500, a competitor of the Challenger 300, will appear in public for the first time at EBACE this week with deliveries starting next year. The Legacy 450 will be delivered in 2015.
Pilatus has announced its PC-24 jet.
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.
Dassault announced the super-midsize Falcon 2000S and 2000LXS.
Gulfstream is working on a replacement for the G450/550 mysteriously code-named the P42. The Gulfstream 650 is making its first appearance at EBACE.