Textron Aviation and NetJets Strengthen Industry-Leading Relationship
Textron Aviation Inc. and NetJets Inc. on October 15 announced fleet agreements for the option to purchase up to 175 super-midsize Cessna Citation Longitude aircraft and up to 150 Cessna Citation Hemisphere aircraft. NetJets has operated a fleet of nearly 500 Cessna Citations since 1984, and this agreement could increase the fleet to more than 800 aircraft over the next 10 to 15 years. The option to purchase the Hemisphere distinguishes NetJets as the launch customer for Textron Aviation’s revolutionary, clean sheet large-cabin aircraft.
“We are proud to expand our relationship with NetJets once again through this significant milestone for the Citation Longitude and Citation Hemisphere,” said Chairman, President and CEO, Textron Inc., Scott Donnelly while speaking at the annual National Business Aviation Association’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE). “The Longitude fleet will build on the success NetJets has enjoyed with the Citation Latitude midsize jet. Through its class-leading performance, operating efficiency and the quietest cabin experience in its category, the Citation Longitude redefines the super-midsize segment. The Citation Hemisphere will follow with its revolutionary approach to performance and the large cabin experience.”
“As the worldwide leader in private aviation, we seek out products that raise the bar and deliver an exceptional travel experience to our owners and their passengers,” said Chairman and CEO, NetJets, Adam Johnson. “As we anticipate placing these orders, we look back to the first order we placed for the Citation Latitude back in 2015. We have just placed an order for our 100th Latitude and, just as we did then, NetJets takes entering into this fleet agreement seriously, and we look forward to the day we can say we took delivery of our 175th Citation Longitude. We see the same revolutionary attributes of the Citation Latitude and Longitude in the Citation Hemisphere and are delighted to become its launch customer.”
Textron Aviation and NetJets are designing a version of the clean sheet Citation Hemisphere to meet the discerning standards of NetJets Owners. This side-by-side collaboration enables NetJets and Textron to come together to create a world-class aviation experience for NetJets Owners. They are also working with Safran to achieve performance characteristics that enable Hemisphere to reach far-off destinations with greater speed and reliability.
“We have worked steadfastly with Safran to understand the developmental stages of the Silvercrest engine,” said senior vice president, engineering, Textron Aviation, Brad Thress. “Throughout our review, we have remained confident that Silvercrest is the best engine choice for the Hemisphere and are pleased to see Safran’s enduring commitment to delivering it on time and on target.”
Bell Launches Certified Training Facilities
Bell Helicopter announced on October 17 the launch of Certified Training Facilities (CTFs) to expand its global training offering. CTFs such as Helideal, a Bell Independent Representative based in southern France, will provide the highest standard of initial and recurrent pilot training under the umbrella of the renowned Bell Training Academy.
“The Bell 505 has been a global success story for Bell,” said senior vice president, commercial business – International, Bell, Patrick Moulay. “With a rapidly growing Bell 505 international footprint, we are focused on providing local support solutions to our international customer base for the entire lifecycle of their aircraft, and CTFs will play a key role.”
“Training has been an integral part of Bell’s aftermarket programme for more than 65 years,” said manager, flight training, Bell, Chad Oakley. “We have trained over 140,000 customers in more than 135 countries throughout the world, and we are looking forward to our global training solution expansion through strategically located CTFs.”
“We are excited to be the launch Bell CTF,” said President and Chairman, Helideal, Jean-Francois Giron. “We have been operating a variety of Bell aircraft, including the Bell 505, and have been training pilots for more than 25 years. We will be offering pilot training on the Bell 505 beginning in January 2019.”
Bell has a strong history of providing the highest level of support to the customer. From the development of our products through the operational safety or our fielded fleet, Bell is dedicated to delivering solutions that meet the safety and performance demands of the industry. Bell Training Academies are in Texas – USA, Valencia – Spain and Singapore.
Pallas Aviation Declared Launch Operator for Lockheed Martin LM-100J
Lockheed Martin on October 11 introduced Pallas Aviation as the first LM-100J commercial freighter operator. The LM-100J is a production variant of the proven C-130J Super Hercules, which is the military airlifter of choice for 18 nations around the world.
Pallas Aviation will provide management services and operational control of two LM-100J aircraft requiring heavy-lift/ oversized cargo capability into and out of unconventional airports and remote locations for a specific set of clients in multiple industries. Pallas will operate its LM–100Js out of Fort Worth Alliance Airport in Texas.
In conjunction with this announcement, an LM-100J aircraft was on static display at the Alliance Air Show in Fort Worth from October 13-14.
“In choosing the LM-100J, we have access to one of the newest cargo freighters that happens to have one of the most proven pedigrees in aviation, the C-130J Super Hercules. The LM-100J offers an outstanding performance record, reliability, experience and unmatched capabilities,” said President, Pallas Aviation, Emory Ellis. “There are other cargo aircraft in the market, but there’s one LM-100J, and that’s the aeroplane we need to do our job.”
Lockheed Martin introduced the LM-100J freighter in 2014 as an updated version of the L-100 legacy Hercules commercial variant. Lockheed Martin delivered more than 100 L-100s to private and government operators from 1964-1992. The LM-100J offers a civil-certified option for operators that builds on the proven performance of the military C-130J variants, which have flown almost 2 million hours in support of a multitude of mission requirements.
“Over the past few years, we’ve had the honour to partner with the Pallas team in building the LM-100J and are excited to see this joint vision be a reality that we can share with the aviation industry,” said vice president and general manager, air mobility & maritime missions, Lockheed Martin, George Shultz. “We can’t wait for Pallas to show the world the versatility and capability that is found only in an LM-100J.”
Two LM-100Js are currently flying in support of FAA type certificate update testing. The C-130J was fully FAA certified when it was first developed and the LM-100J requires an update of this certificate.