New Report Says It’s ‘Party Time’ for business jets

In a report to investors titled “Bizjet Party Time is Now,” analysts at investment bank Cowen see a number of factors improving fortunes for the next couple of years for the business jet industry and, in particular, for OEMs Gulfstream Aerospace and Textron Aviation. “The combo of Covid concerns, a robust stock market, and firming economy are creating the strongest business jet environment since 2007,” the report said. Analysts noted the inventory of used business jets for sale reached an “all-time low” of 4.5 percent of the fleet while the 275,000 business jet departures in May—led by fractional and charter operators—were near the October 2019 peak of 278,000. With demand driven by ultra-high-net-worth individuals and an increase in first-time buyers, that should push them toward the purchase of new business jets. OEMs likely won’t see the fruits of that demand on deliveries because of production lead times until 2022 “and possibly 2023,” according to the report. “Also, Fortune 500 customers are just starting to perk up, and foreign buyers have yet to return,” the report added. “Thus, the demand surge likely still has runway.” As for the OEMs, Gulfstream “looks best positioned in bizjets” because preowned jet demand is highest in the large-cabin category. In addition, increasing G500 and G600 deliveries and the fourth-quarter 2022 entry-into-service of the G700 are pluses for Gulfstream, the report added. At the lighter end of the market, Cowen analysts see a strong second-quarter 2021 book-to-bill for Textron Aviation and a “solid sales lift” in 2022, potentially extending into 2023. However, the report said, “demand durability is a bigger issue for smaller business jets, and [Textron Aviation] has a less compelling product story than [Gulfstream].” Lastly, the report added that OEMs

Gulfstream G550 Production Reaches End of the Line

Gulfstream G550 After a production run spanning 18 years, Gulfstream delivered the final commercial G550 to an international customer on June 30. (Photo: Gulfstream) Nearly two decades after it first entered service, Gulfstream G550 saw its final commercial delivery this week. The Savannah, Georgia airframer has produced more than 600 of the large-cabin twinjets since receiving its type and production certificates in August 2003. According to a company spokesperson, while some special-missions variants continue to undergo modifications, this week's delivery ended G550 production. First announced in 1999 as a derivative of the GV, the G550 (formerly GV-SP) was the launch platform for the company’s PlaneView flight deck and was also certified with an enhanced vision system as a standard safety feature, paving the way for its incorporation into future aircraft designs. With a range of 6,750 nm at Mach 0.80, the type earned more than 50 speed records. It served as the top of the Gulfstream line until the certification of the G650 in 2012. According to JetNet, 603 G550s remain in service worldwide. “The Gulfstream G550 set a new standard for performance and reliability and continues to outperform and impress with its wide-ranging capabilities,” said company president Mark Burns. “Given our vast G550 fleet in service, we look to continuing to support all G550 customers around the world with Gulfstream Customer Support’s extensive network.” Development of the Gulfstream G550 G550 cabin The G550 (GV-SP) with improved engines received its FAA type certificate on August 14, 2003. In 2014, Gulfstream looked at a re-engine with the Rolls-Royce Pearl BR700 development announced in May 2018 for the new Global Express 5500 and 6500 variants but preferred the BR725-powered, 7,500 nmi G650. The 500th Gulfstream G550

Third Dassault Falcon 6X Joins Flight-test Fleet

Dassault's third flight-test Falcon 6X took to the skies on June 24. The twinjet has a full interior and will be used to test in-flight entertainment and communications systems, as well as evaluate environmental features and temperature control and validate cabin acoustics systems. (Photo: Dassault Aviation) The third flight-test Falcon 6X, registered as F-WAVE, took to the skies late last week, edging Dassault Aviation’s 5,500-nm, large-cabin twinjet one step closer to its planned certification next year. S/N 3, which has a full interior and will be used for cabin design validation, made its inaugural flight on June 24, attaining an altitude of FL400 and speeds up to Mach 0.85, the French aircraft manufacturer announced on Thursday. This follows the first Falcon 6X that flew on March 10 and the second on April 30. To date, these two aircraft have accumulated more than 130 flight-test hours at a rate of two to three flights a week, with envelope expansion now nearly complete, according to Dassault. “This latest flight is yet another sign of the smooth progress we have been making with the Falcon 6X test program,” said Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO Eric Trappier. “We have been consistently impressed with the flight performance and handling of the Falcon 6X and the reliability of aircraft systems.” S/N 3 will be used to test in-flight entertainment and communications systems, as well as evaluate environmental features and temperature control and validate cabin acoustics systems, the company said. A fourth flight-test Falcon 6X, which will also have a full interior, is currently being outfitted at Dassault’s site in Mérignac, France. This aircraft will conduct a two-month global endurance flight campaign to ensure that all Falcon 6X systems are fully mature