Home' Asian Aviation : AAV May 2010 Contents 10 AsianAviation | MAY 2010
Cebu Pacific Air has unveiled an aggressive
expansion plan with an order for 22 Airbus
Three aircraft will be delivered by the end of
this year, three in 2011, four in 2012, seven
in 2013 and the remaining five in 2014. The
order is valued at US$1.4 billion based on
catalogue prices and will be funded by loans
from foreign export credit agencies, internally
generated funds and proceeds of a planned
initial public offering (IPO), slated for this year.
The IPO was scheduled for May but was
postponed due to the Philippines' general
elections the same month.
The new aircraft will be used to expand
Cebu Pacific's international network and
increase frequencies on existing routes. Once
delivery is completed the airline will have a
fleet of 51 aircraft.
Cebu Pacific President and Chief Executive
Officer Lance Gokongwei says that the carrier
expects to carry about 18 million domestic and
international passengers a year by 2014. Last
year, the airline carried 8.7 million passengers,
up 28 percent from 2008, while this year's
target is 10 million passengers.
"Cebu Pacific had earlier planed to order
only 15 aircraft, but with the growing demand
for travel and the positive outlook we decided
on a larger order," Gokongwei said.
The airline started operations in 1996 with
a network of eight domestic destinations. It
now operates 29 aircraft, including 11 A320s,
10 A319s and eight ATR 72-500 turboprops,
on a network covering 33 domestic and 14
international destinations. -- William Dennis
Gulfstream Aerospace announced on 3 May
that its new flagship G650 ultra-large cabin
business jet has successfully completed all
structural limit-load testing required by the
US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
The G650 passed limit-load testing of its
primary structural components, including
the fuselage, wing, vertical and horizontal
stabilizers, main landing gear, nose landing
gear and all control surfaces. During this
phase of static testing, the new advanced
fly-by-wire flight-control system passed
certification tests for proper operation while
under limit-load conditions.
The limit load represents the maximum
load the aircraft should experience during
its life cycle. The G650 will also be tested to
ultimate load, which is 50 percent more than
the limit load.
"Completing the limit load structural
testing is a key milestone that will allow
flight testing at the maximum operating
speeds of 340 KCAS and Mach 0.925 and to
the maximum dive speeds of 385 KCAS and
Mach 0.990," says Pres Henne, Gulfstream's
senior vice-president for programmes,
engineering and test. "We're excited to
reach this stage. On all fronts, the G650 is
performing extremely well."
The G650 flight-test and certification plan
involves five aircraft and an estimated 1,800
hours of testing. Each aircraft in the program
is used for a specific series of tests, with serial
number (S/N) 6001 focused on performance
and flight controls, S/N 6002 on systems and
S/N 6003 on avionics. The two production
aircraft in the test program --- S/N 6004 and
S/N 6005 --- will be used to evaluate interior
systems and be part of the reduced vertical
separation minimum (RVSM) testing.
S/N 6001 kicked off the flight-test program
with its first flight on 25 November, with
6002 following on 25 February. As of mid-
April, the two aircraft had completed nearly
50 flights and approximately 140 flight-test
The three remaining test aircraft are in
various degrees of completion. S/N 6003
has been turned over to the Flight Test
department for outfitting in preparation for
first flight, while 6004 and 6005 are in final
production and major assembly, respectively.
"The state-of-the-art manufacturing
processes we developed for this aircraft are
making a definite difference in terms of build
quality," said Dennis Stuligross, Gulfstream's
senior vice-president of operations. "We
have already witnessed enhanced quality and
precision due in part to automation, modular
manufacturing and advanced tooling."
Testing also continues in the G650
Integration Test Facility (ITF) at Gulfstream's
Savannah headquarters. Engineers have been
using the facility to integrate the software
and hardware for the aircraft's systems and to
perform the human-factors testing required
Powered by Rolls-Royce BR725 engines, the
G650 is capable of travelling 7,000 nautical
miles (12,964km) at Mach 0.85 and has a
maximum operating speed of Mach 0.925.
-- William Dennis
Gulfstream G650 business jet completes limit-load testing
Cebu Pacific plans expansion with Airbus A320 order
NEWS IN BRIEF
HAWKER BEECHCRAFT has commenced deliveries
of its recently certified Beechcraft King Air C90GTx
-- an upgraded and enhanced version of the world's
most successful general aviation turbine aircraft.
The first King Air C90GTx was recently delivered
to Pedro Zeballos of Panama. The new King Air
C90GTx, which made its debut in early May at
the European Business Aviation Convention &
Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland, features
enhancements to both payload and performance.
Prior to EBACE, the company completed the first
demonstration tour across the Eastern U.S. with
the King Air C90GTx.
As of mid-April, the first two G650
test aircraft had completed almost 50
flights and about 140 hours of testing.
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