Home' Asian Aviation : AAV March 2014 Contents 18 AsianAviation | MARCH 2014
for its superior technological sophistication, unrivalled
passenger comfort (the cabin height alone will be
1.98m), and performance -- thanks in large part to the
Falcon Jet's super-efficient wing design. It will be able
to fly 5,200nm sectors at speeds up to Mach 0.90.
"It will be a beautiful aircraft; we have a lot of
interest and already many people have decided to
buy a 5X. I'm very confident we'll have many sold by
the end of the year," Jacob said.
These new designs provide compelling evidence
that the BA industry is not so much walking, but
running --- and strongly. The growing importance
of the Asia-Pacific economy means that links with
other part of the world are much needed, increasing
the demand for BA aircraft that can fly missions well
beyond the 3,000, 4,000 and even 5,000nm mark.
This has stimulated demand for long-range and
ultra-long-range aircraft to facilitate this requirement.
Gulfstream Aerospace has dominated these two
sectors for some time, although they've had to divvy
up the spoils in this prestigious sector lately, with
the likes of Bombardier and the highly respected
Canadian aircraft manufacturer's Global 5000 and
Global 6000 series of business aircraft.
These are the aircraft types that are regularly
called upon when operators need long range
stamina: sectors ranging from 5,000nm up to
7,000nm in length.
However, Gulfstream's latest and most advanced
performer --- the incredibly elegant, super-fast
Gulfstream G650 -- is hard to beat in the ultra-
long-range segment, and it didn't go unnoticed at
Singapore this year either.
Such is its popularity over 50 G650s have been
delivered since deliveries commenced in late
2102 and the buyer's waiting list for the G650 has
stretched out to 2017. The Asia-Pacific looks set to
reap the benefits from this superfast, ultra-long-range
design with a number of units already working in the
region. Its maximum speed is Mach 0.925, while its
maximum range is an enormous 7,000nm.
However, the North American manufacturer is still
producing the Gulfstream G550 in good numbers,
despite the design not being as large, fast or as far-
flying as its younger sibling, the G650.
Nevertheless, the fact the G550 is still in
production with more than 430 in service worldwide,
and desired by blue-chip clients especially in Asia
(with numerous examples in China), is a good
indication of the BA industry's health.
Another worthy exhibitor at this year's air show
was Swiss aircraft manufacturer, Pilatus Aircraft.
Their high-profile exhibit was a mock-up of the PC-
24 -- the famed Swiss company's highly anticipated
entrant into the BA world. The PC-24 will literally
belong in a class of its own, the "Super Versatile
Jet". In the words of Pilatus, the aircraft will combine
"the practicality of a Turboprop with the cabin size
of a Medium Light Jet and the performance of a
The PC-24 will be the only aircraft in the BA
market with 4WD-like capabilities. Some of its
features will include a large, rear port-side cargo
door and continuous flat-floor cabin. The single-pilot
certified short-field performing Pilatus PC-24 will be
commercially available in 2017."
In terms of its investment in the Asia Pacific,
Gulfstream has had a presence in the region for
some time. It recently opened up a service centre in
Beijing in November 2012 (Gulfstream Beijing), but
has other product support and authorised service
centre facilities in North and South East Asia, too.
During the course of the Singapore Air Show
Bombardier announced it had opened up a full
maintenance capability service centre at Seletar
Aerospace Park (SAP) on the northern edge of the
City State (see Bombardier opens biz jet centre, p21).
As the Asia-Pacific BA fleet grows, so does the
need for after-market support. Jet Aviation is opening
an expanded facility in SAP this April (see Jet Aviation
triples up, p21) that will triple the amount of hangar
space compared with the old facility (which will be
incorporated into the new facility, acting effectively
as a spill-over area). Cessna parent Textron also has
a support facility in SAP that it shares with sister
company Bell Helicopters.
Bombardier, Gulfstream, Cessna, Embraer,
Dassault Falcon, Pilatus plus the likes of Airbus
and Boeing have all made significant investments
in aftermarket support, especially in the Asia-Pacific
region because they recognise its commercial and
strategic importance and value.
With so much investment occurring in the Asia
Pacific BA space, not just in terms of new aircraft
designs but also in such vital areas as service centre
support, it appears the industry has made a solid
recovery. The Singapore Air Show has highlighted
that the industry is as diverse as it is rich; and, with
the multitude of jet designs available, there really is
"no one size fits all" aircraft.
If anything, with the region being as complex and
varied as it is it's comforting to know there are many
designs available to meet its ever-changing needs.
The concept of aircraft manufacturer diversity should
be welcomed with open arms.
With that in mind we can all breathe a collective
sigh of relief about the industry's healthy prognosis
and look forward to the next Singapore Air Show
in 2016! ✈
SINGAPORE AIR SHOW
The Legacy 650 --- one of Embraer's highly successful designs from its Executive Jets range.
The aircraft features three cabin zones and is capable of flying 3,900nm sectors.
Bombardier, Gulfstream, Cessna,
Embraer, Dassault Falcon, Pilatus...
Airbus and Boeing have all made
significant investments in aftermarket
support, especially in the Asia-Pacific
region because they recognise
its commercial and strategic
importance and value.
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