An update on the Learjet 85: Bombardier Aerospace announced just before the holiday weekend that its first-ever composite Learjet aircraft will have its wing structures manufactured at its Belfast, Northern Ireland facility. The plant also will make wings for the CSeries aircraft.
After the wing skin panels and spar components are finished, final assembly of the wings will take place at the company's new production plant in Queretaro, Mexico.
Bombardier announced in September that constriction of the Mexico facility was on schedule.
The composite business jet is expected to hit a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.82 and a range up to 3,000 NM, the fastest and farthest reaching Learjet to date.
In the early stages of investigation, Libyan officials do not suspect terrorism in the crash of an Airbus A330 Wednesday just short of the Tripoli International Airport runway on final approach. At least 96 of the 104 died on board the Afriqiyah Airways flight from Johannesburg, South Africa to the Libyan capital. Flight Global reports the aircraft, confirmed by Airbus as serial number 1024, had completed just 1,600 hours in 420 flights prior to the crash.
Libyan officials reported one Dutch child survivor from the flight. Witnesses said it "exploded on landing."
UPDATE: Reuters reports that the Airbus involved in the crash had passed European spot checks.
Production of the mostly composite Lear 85 (pictured above) is on schedule, according to a report posted by AVWeb. Part assembly will begin in July in Mexico. The jet will be the first made by an American company to include Category 1 and Category 2 aircraft parts manufactured south of the border. Assembly will take place in Wichita, with the earliest deliveries arriving in 2013.
Meanwhile, delivery of the HondaJet again has been delayed until late 2012. An AP report cites a Honda spokesman blaming the second setback of a year or more on supplier delays of getting "unspecified major components" to the manufacturer.
Matt Thurber of AIN reports that Chevron Global Aviation will cease marketing Chevron and Texaco aviation fuel in 27 states, beginning Nov. 15. Chevron's distributor, Hiller/Air Petro, will continue serving operators in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington.
In the realm of aviation economics and adding to the continued release of first-quarter reports, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association says piston aircraft shipments for the first three months of the year were off by more than 7 percent, while turboprop shipments dropped by 32.6 percent and jet deliveries sunk 14 percent, to 164 total. However, total billings increased by 7.1 percent.
Once-struggling NetJets reported that quarterly revenues increased by 18 percent compared to the
same period in 2009.