August 2012

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October 19 - The Week Ahead Open Thread (NBAA Edition)

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This is going to be an interesting week coming up for Boeing. They've brought their BBJ Convertible to the show here in Orlando and are laying low with no announcements planned. However, the week will not be short on Boeing news with Wednesday's quarterly earnings call with CEO Jim McNerney and CFO James Bell. The company has promised an update on the 787 wing fix, which has been the subject of much discussion in recent days.

Hawker Beechcraft
The HBC 'military style' press conference kicked off media day this morning here in Orlando. The black flight suit clad executives struck a confident note as they expect the industry to rebound in late 2012 or late 2013. The company expects to see a "turbulent" 2010, but will have first flight of the Premier II in the first quarter of next year and the company will deliver its first e-enabled Hawker 750 and 900XP next year as well.

Expect updates on the Phenom 300 flight test and Phenom 100 production, as well as news on development of the Legacy 450 and 500. Word on the street is that Embraer may announce something new this afternoon. Keep an eye out for big news from the Brazilian airframer around 1 PM.

Gulfstream's pair of new business aircraft - G250 and G650 - are rapidly approaching their maiden flights. Program updates for both aircraft should be on tap from Gulfstream mid-morning Monday. Also, keep an ear our for what the company has to say about the perenially discussed vapor-based supersonic business jet.

Needless to say, it's been a rough year for Cessna, with nearly a reduction in nearly 50% of its workforce and cancellation of the Cessna Columbus program. CEO Jack Pelton will be leading a press conference at 3pm and should provide an important indicator of the health of both the city of Wichita's aerospace cluster and the business jet industry as a whole.

For the first time, Airbus will display an A318 Elite on the NBAA static display this week. The aircraft is the 10th Elite delivered as part of a total 25 orders won by Airbus for the type. Look for the European airframer to continue emphasizing VVIP retrofits for existing A330 and A340 passenger aircraft, which Airbus believes will begin coming out of service when the A350 comes online in 2013.

Like NBAA 2008, Bombardier is focusing on its new composite mid-size Learjet 85. The airplane was on less-than-solid ground last year after Grob folded, but the program is making progress and represents the only major new aircraft program currently on tap for Wichita's future. Bombardier will provide a program update on Tuesday afternoon.

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