NBAA 2018 Press Day- live blog: NetJets considers options, new supersonic engine, Satcom offer PDB connectivity


Press day summary

Embraer’s new aircraft launch overshadowed news today. Textron dug out an big option with NetJets and the fractional operators’s interest in the Hemisphere is a big deal.

Aerion made some significant announcements today – new engine and Avionics.

The big stories today:

  • NetJets takes options on 175 Longitutdes and 150 Hemisphere
  • GE announces new GE AffinityTM turbofan for Aerion AS2
  • Bombardier confident that Global 7500 will get FAA and EASA certification soon 
  • Wheels Up confident that it can get a million customers
  • Boeing stresses residual value performance of its jets 


Please send stories to Louisa Whyte [email protected] 


16.00 Rockwell launches space-based ADS-B flight tracking

Press release:

Rockwell Collins is first to offer FlightAware’s AireonSM space-based ADS-B flight tracking to business aviation operators  

Rockwell Collins is now offering AireonSM space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance—Broadcast (ADS-B) flight tracking to its business aviation customers, a first for the company. The flight tracking solution is the result of integrating Rockwell Collins’ ARINCDirectSMsolution and FlightAware’s terrestrial ADS-B network.

The Aireon network is hosted on the Iridium NEXT constellation of satellites, which consists of 66 low-earth-orbit satellites that each carry an Aireon ADS-B receiver. The constellation provides truly global coverage with once-per-minute position updates as the standard rate of reporting – anywhere in the world. Since ADS-B out will be required in many countries throughout the world by 2020, aircraft operators typically do not need to install additional equipment to take advantage of Aireon coverage.

“Aireon space-based ADS-B is truly a game changer for the aviation industry and we are thrilled that Rockwell Collins recognizes its potential to improve operations,” said Daniel Baker, FlightAware Founder and CEO.

“Rockwell Collins customers benefit from the certainty of their aircraft’s position, even over oceans, polar regions, deserts, or jungles – all places where frequent position accuracy has historically been difficult to achieve,” said Bob Richard, senior director, ARINCDirect for Rockwell Collins.

15.00 Stellar and Rockwell launch updated flight planning

Press release:

Stellar Labs, Inc. (“Stellar”), the Silicon Valley aviation technology innovator, and Rockwell Collins, a leader in aviation and high-integrity solutions for commercial and military customers around the world, today announced the availability of their next generation flight operations management solution.

Rockwell Collins and Stellar are jointly developing a suite of integrated, cloud-based applications, as a successor to Rockwell Collins’ ARINCDirectSM Flight Operations System (FOS®). The next generation solution has a modern architecture, intuitive and easy-to-use web interface and new features. The first set of cloud-based modules provides powerful capabilities for quoting, trip planning and reporting.

  • Quoting tool: allows charter operators to quickly create and send branded quotes that offer multiple aircraft and itinerary options;
  • Trip planning tool: trip planners can now easily and conveniently use a web-based portal or their mobile device to get estimated flight times, view scheduled flights and drill down for details on itinerary, passengers and services;
  • Reporting and analytics tool: helps sales and revenue managers understand quoted and scheduled flight volume, conversion rates, revenue and profit margin with preconfigured reports.

“Building upon the success of both Rockwell Collins’ ARINCDirect FOS and Stellar’s cloud-based applications, operators can expect to have all the functionalities of scheduling at their fingertips, on one mobile device versus several hardwired systems,” said David Poltorak, vice president, Business and Government Aviation for Rockwell Collins. “Providing these new capabilities to our customers is just one way we are enhancing the user experience for ease, organization and smoother back-end operations.”

“Stellar is taking another big step in transforming the business aviation industry,” said Stellar CEO David Fox. “Following the introduction of Stellar Cloud earlier this year, the launch of the next generation of FOS brings a powerful, web-based solution for flight operations management to an industry that badly needs it.”

The quoting feature is available now to U.S.-based operators who currently use FOS in the StellarCloud. The trip planning tool will become available to Stellar’s beta customers starting in November. The reporting and analytics tool will become available in November.

Other FOS customers can take advantage of the upgraded quoting feature now by upgrading to FOS in the Stellar Cloud. Users can migrate over time by keeping data synchronized, so operators do not need to enter the same data in both systems.


14.00 Bye Aerospace on electric aircraft

Fascinating session from George Bye, founder of Bye Aerospace, on his quest to build the SunFlyer electric training aircraft. He believes they can get the cost of flying down to $14 an hour – a massive boost for anyone looking to learn to fly.


13.00 GE unveils new supersonic engine

GE Aviation announced the GE’s AffinityTM turbofan. This is the engine that it has created for Aerion’s new AS2 supersonic aircraft.

The GE Aviation News Release says:

“GE’s Affinity is a twin-shaft, twin-fan turbofan controlled by a next generation Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) for enhanced dispatch reliability and onboard diagnostics. It is purposefully designed to enable efficient supersonic flight over water and efficient subsonic flight over land, without requiring modifications to existing compliance regulations. The engine is designed to meet stringent Stage 5 subsonic noise requirements and beat current emissions standards.

GE’s Affinity features:

  • Efficient performance throughout the full flight envelope with a high-altitude service ceiling of 60,000.
  • An advanced twin-fan with the highest bypass ratio of any supersonic engine.
  • A special, non-augmented supersonic exhaust system.
  • A proven engine core adapted from GE’s commercial airline portfolio with billions of successful and reliable hours of operational service.
  • A durable combustor with advanced coatings for sustained high-speed operation.
  • Advanced acoustic technology designed to meet or exceed regulatory requirements.
  • GE’s additive design & manufacturing technologies to optimize weight & performance.“In the last 50 years, business aircraft speeds have increased by less than 10 percent,” said Brad Mottier, GE Vice President and General Manager for Business and General Aviation & Integrated Services. “Instead of going faster, cabins have increased in size and become more comfortable – and range has become longer. With large, comfortable cabin, long range aircraft in the marketplace, the next step is speed . . . made possible with GE’s Affinity.”

Aerion actually first announced this two week’s ago at the Revolution.Aero conference. But asked everyone to keep it secret.

12.00 Satcom launches Power-by-hour and new antenna for smaller air

Satcom Direct controversially puts its presser against lunch but it is well attended. Some genuinely new things here – they are now working with Intelsat – a new satellite company – and will be offering new pricing. This includes pay-per-minute, the first connectivity power-by-the-hour programme and all you can stream.

The Power-By-the-Hour programme could be very popular with charter companies. The service guarantees best available connectivity.

Satcom is testing the Intelsat SD FlexExec network on its own Gulfstream.

Satcom Direct is also working with Germany’s QEST Quantenelektronische Systeme to develop a new flat panel connectivity antenna for small business aircraft. Antenna’s work best when they are mounted on an aircraft’s tail – but this is not possible with smaller business aircraft – like Phenom 300s and King Airs. It unveiled a new  light-jet prototype during its press conference.

11.00 Embraer

Press conference is packed – standing room only. Not much new data after yesterday’s launch. You can see a comparison with the Praetor 600’s competitors here.


11.00 Airbus Corporate Jets and Airbus Corporate Helicopters

Joint press conference. The two divisions keen to work together – although they are not able to say how many customers have both Airbus Corporate Jets and Airbus Corporate Helicopters.

10.30 Comments on NetJet options

The NetJet’s announcement is getting a lot of comments from other OEMs and operators. “Announcing options that far out is ridiculous,” says one OEM. “You are basically just telling people that you are talking.”

He has a point, but NetJets is perhaps different – they can write the check.

10.00 Aerion picks Honeywell for AS2

“We’re on track to fly in 2023, and before that year is out cross the Atlantic at supersonic speed, which will be the first supersonic crossing since the Concorde’s retirement 20 years earlier,” said Tom Vice, CEO, Aerion. “Aerion and our AS2 industry team, comprised of Lockheed Martin, GE Aviation, and Honeywell, have solved many of the tremendous challenges in creating a supersonic renaissance,” he said.

“We’ve overcome some huge technical hurdles and we’re confident we’ll meet Stage 5 takeoff and landing noise requirements. We’ve made strides in structures and systems. We’re recruiting top tier suppliers. And we’re attracting the best and brightest engineering talent to the program as we grow our organization.”


Honeywell Press release:

Aerion and Honeywell Aerospace are collaborating to bring a revolutionary new cockpit to the Aerion AS2 – the first supersonic business jet in history. Honeywell is a market leader with decades of extraordinary innovation in both business and supersonic aircraft. Aerion is revolutionizing global mobility with a family of supersonic aircraft.

“Honeywell will deliver a comprehensive connected aircraft solution that will enable operators to reach their destinations faster than ever before, maximizing their productivity while providing an exceptional travel experience,” said Carl Esposito, President, Electronic Solutions at Honeywell. “This is a fantastic opportunity to pioneer a new segment of aviation with Aerion.”

“Aerion is revolutionizing global mobility with a family of supersonic aircraft, of which the AS2 will be the first. This amazing aircraft embodies the pioneering spirit of aviation and incorporates the greatest technical achievements in decades for our business aviation customers. We are providing a new level of user experience in the cabin, and most certainly in the cockpit,” said Aerion CEO Tom Vice.

Honeywell is uniquely positioned to provide avionics for the world’s first supersonic business jet. Honeywell Primus Epic avionics are currently standard equipment on leading business and regional jet OEM platforms and in service on nearly 5,000 aircraft in 20 different models. Primus Epic has accrued nearly 30+ million total flight hours. Similarly, Honeywell mission processors, displays, sensors, radio altimeters, radar, and flight control systems have been enabling thousands of supersonic military jets for decades. Most supersonic aircraft in the free world utilize various Honeywell avionics systems and components. This unique combination of business jet and supersonic experience enables Honeywell to offer an innovative supersonic business jet cockpit for the AS2.

10.00 Boeing Business Jets highlights similar operating costs with more space

Boeing Business Jets has delivered the first BBJ MAX aircraft. They have orders for 20 BBJ MAX aircraft. Keen to stress that the aircraft is a great investment.

Boeing announces new SkyStyle interior. “Intended to make it less like a tube than other aircraft – less like being stuck on a subway train”

Boeing also mentions how important Corporate Jet Investor community is.

“Tell salespeople always be closing and as you see on Saturday Night Football no lead is safe!”

09.00 Gulfstream presser focused on G500 and G600

09.00 Bombardier Business Aircraft outlines support and certification

David Coleal asked about Embraer Praetor: “Says imitation is the highest form of flattery.” Highlights how Bombardier Challenger 350 is class leader.

09.00 Wheels Up
Kenny Dichter highlighted technology behind Wheels Up. He adds “Wheels Up is on the march to a million customers.”

08.30 New Textron CEO interview with Corporate Jet Investor:

“I can’t tell you how excited I am about the new job. This is my dream job,” says Ronald Draper who started at Cessna 20 years ago after leaving the US Army.

Draper was appointed president of Textron Aviation on Friday.

Does he feel he is inheriting a better market than his predecessor Scott Ernest, who took over in 2011? “Absolutely, it is a whole different situation. He has done a great job and left us with some amazing products like the Longtitude and Hemisphere.”

In his former role as Textron Aviation’s senior vice president, integrated supply chain (Operations), Draper was involved in all of the manufacturer’s new aircraft programmes and says that he is very confident that the Citation Longitude will be certificated later this year.

“As it is my second day on the job, I am not ready to roll out a whole new vision, but there are a couple of things that we will change,” says Draper. “I have a different style to Scott but we will stay completely committed to our customers and partners.”

08.00 Textron Aviation – NetJets takes options on 175 Longitutdes and 150 Hemispheres

Packed press conference headed by Scott Donnelly, president of Textron. Attended by Scott Ernest, former president of Textron Aviation and new CEO Ronald Draper.

NetJets takes options on 325 Cessna Aircraft

NetJets takes options on 175 super-midsize Cessna Citation Longitude aircraft and up to 150 Cessna Citation Hemisphere aircraft

NetJets has the option to take first deliveries of the Citation Longitude in the second half of 2019, with additional options on Longitude aircraft exercised over the next 10 to 15 years.

“We are proud to expand our relationship with NetJets once again through this significant milestone for the Citation Longitude and Citation Hemisphere,” said Scott Donnelly, Chairman, President and CEO of Textron, at Textron NBAA-BACE press conference. “

“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 Adam Johnson, NetJets Chairman and CEO.

Textron Aviation and NetJets are designing a special version of the Citation Hemisphere.

“We have worked steadfastly with Safran to understand the development stages of the Silvercrest engine,” said Brad Thress, Textron Aviation senior vice president, Engineering. “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.”