AIN Alerts
April 5, 2019
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Gulfstream G550

Aircraft Broker Sees Gulfstream G550 Boost

Aircraft brokerage Hagerty Jet Group has seen stronger-than-expected transaction volume for preowned Gulfstream jets in the first quarter of the year. The Savannah, Georgia-based Gulfstream specialist observed higher transaction volumes in the past quarter than in the previous 12 months, particularly for the airframer’s G550. In the first quarter of the year, there were 16 sales of the long-range twinjet, nearly double the average of the past three years.

Hagerty also noted a spike in off-market aircraft transactions, as six of those 16 G550 sales were not publicly advertised, or were unknown by market participants. The company believes this is an indication that many buyers are frustrated by the lack of good available inventory and sought out direct purchasing opportunities with unlisted aircraft.

That could cause sellers on the market to adjust their pricing to move their aircraft. In its just-released Quarterly Market Update for Gulfstream aircraft, Hagerty expects prices to soften in the second quarter, based on the 14 price reductions seen in the first quarter on the G550, with an average decrease of 9 percent. It also anticipates a decrease in overall demand as global economic uncertainty lingers, led by fears of a 2020 recession, Brexit and U.S./China trade relations. As the impact of the so-called “Trump-Bump” from a year ago fades, Hagarty believes the industry is normalizing again.


AINsight: Matching the Words to the Action

I receive e-blasts for preowned business jets all day long, and it's interesting to see their current subject lines. In 2017 and 2018, average days on the market from the inception of a listing to an agreed upon LOI was 34. Things were selling so quickly there was hardly time to advertise them in traditional print media. Most e-blasts then were just about “new to market” jets. 

But since the beginning of this year, there has been a slight dip in activity, increase in inventory, and rise in sales cycle timing. Many sellers have had to adjust their pricing based on market conditions. 

Here are some suggestions to help you prepare for a more stable market without the frenzy. Price cautiously the first time. If your listing is priced too high, your aircraft is apt to be overlooked. 

The subject lines of today’s e-blasts reflect the current state of affairs. The “new to market” subject line is far too often replaced with “price lowered” or “major price reduction.” My favorite is “owner wants to be next to sell.” I can assure you the owner that wants to be next to sell would have been smarter to have been the most recent one to sell. The last owner that sold probably understood this sooner.

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Fatal Mishap Mars 1Q U.S. Bizjet Accident Stats

The March 18 crash of an Israel Aircraft Industries Westwind 1124 was the sole fatal accident involving U.S.-registered business jets in the first quarter, according to data compiled by AIN. There were no fatal mishaps of N-numbered business jets in the first three months of 2018. Meanwhile, the number of nonfatal accidents escalated to three this year versus two in the same quarter last year. 

In the first three months of this year, there were no fatal accidents involving non-U.S.-registered business jets, compared with two crashes that resulted in 12 fatalities in the corresponding period in 2018. However, on March 18 the driver of an airport vehicle died when it was hit by a Malaysia-registered Challenger 300 on its landing rollout in Kuala Lumpur. 

The number of fatal occurrences (three) and the number of people who died (seven) in accidents of U.S.-registered business turboprop s were identical for both comparative quarters. Although there was just one fatal accident of a non-U.S.-registered business turboprops in both quarters, two people lost their lives in the recent period versus one last year.

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Former Jet Aviation CEO Thomas Hirschmann Passes Away

Former Jet Aviation chairman and CEO Thomas Hirschmann passed away on Wednesday in Zurich, Switzerland, at the age of 64. The second son of company founder Carl Hirschmann, he joined Jet Aviation in 1974 and succeeded his father in heading the organization from 1990 through 2003.

Under his watch, Jet Aviation launched its completion business, built up its marketing and communication department, increased its U.S. operations, and expanded to Asia.

“I am greatly saddened to learn of Thomas Hirschmann’s passing,” said Jet Aviation group president Rob Smith, who expressed condolences on behalf of the entire company to the Hirschmann family. “By all accounts, Thomas was a well-liked leader, who maintained a strong customer focus and was able to build relationships with Jet Aviation’s key clients around the world.”


California Dreaming for Private Hangar Complex

California’s Camarillo Airport is slated to receive what is hoped to be the first of several CloudNine private hangar complexes around the country. The idea of real estate developer Ron Rasak, the project, which will break ground in December on a seven-acre campus at the Los Angeles-area airport, will include a private airport entrance and four 25,000-sq-ft hangars, each with up to 5,000 sq ft of attached office space.

Designed for the private aircraft owner, each hangar will feature attached garages, commercial-grade kitchen, executive office, and lounge with en suite bathroom and walk-in closets. An entry lobby and lounge area, flight department offices, and fitness rooms are also standard.

“Our theory is that owners of larger jet aircraft, if given the option, value higher levels of privacy, security, and luxury than are found in community hangar storage options at most FBOs today,” said Rasak, adding that one of the hangars is already under negotiation. “We’re honored to bring such a significant development project to Ventura County’s Camarillo Airport, and to the greater business aviation community.”


Jet Aviation Invests In Staffing Tech Startup

Jet Aviation is investing in a startup technology company to advance its development of a platform connecting freelance and contract aircrews for work with operators. The investment and collaboration agreement with hullo Aircrew serves to improve upon Jet Aviation’s own flight-crew staffing platform, the business aviation services company announced yesterday.

“The hullo Aircrew platform available today for crew and operators to effortlessly book trips will continue to be enhanced over the coming months under this new agreement,” said Elaine Lapotosky, senior director of Jet Staffing, an arm of Jet Aviation. “Additionally, we will further develop the platform for our Jet Aviation customers that we expect to be launching to the market in the fourth quarter this year.”

Expectations are for the agreement to result in a similar staffing and technology platform for Jet Aviation that Lapotosky explained will enable it to enter new markets and improve customer access to its staffing services. “We’re fine tuning the layout now to better support the U.S. marketplace,” she added.

Edward Cousins, hullo Aircrew’s director of business operations, said Jet Aviation partnership will aid in his company’s efforts to reach the next evolution in developing its platform. “The geographical coverage that the combined Jet Staffing and hullo Aircrew teams can offer means that we are best placed to serve all of our clients’ needs on a worldwide basis.”


Russian Mi-26T2V Completes Preliminary Flight Tests

Russian Helicopters has successfully completed preliminary flight tests of the Mi-26T2V heavy-lift helicopter. The eight-blade Mi-26 has been in production since 1980, can carry a payload of up to 44,000 pounds, and still holds the record for the heaviest mass lifted by a helicopter—125,153.8 pounds. More than 300 have been produced.

The Mi-26T2V is a variant that first flew last August and is fitted with significant upgrades. They include an NPK90-2V digital avionics suite, a sophisticated autopilot that flew the helicopter down to final approach, a night vision goggle compatible cockpit, an improved navigation system and satcom, new energy-absorbing crew seats, and the Vitebsk onboard aircraft defense system. Vitebsk defends against radar, laser, optic-electric, and thermal threats with a combination of an ultraviolet and infrared directional finder, laser and radar detection, optical-electronic suppression, active radar jamming, and chaff dispensers.

The Mi-26 is used mainly by the Russian military to transport heavy military equipment such as mobile ballistic missiles and armored personnel carriers. It is the basis for the new and somewhat smaller Sino-Russian Advanced Heavy Lift (AHL) helicopter currently under development by China’s Avic. 


Collins Aerospace Takes Steps Toward Next Power Grid

Eyeing the future of hybrid and electric-powered aircraft, Collins Aerospace yesterday revealed its plan to establish a $50 million, 25,000-sq-ft lab, called “the Grid,” that will pull together expertise throughout the company and its parent United Technologies Corp. to make step changes toward electric flight.

To be housed in Rockford, Illinois, the Grid will build on knowledge the company has gained as a power systems supplier over multiple platforms for decades, including the 1.5-megawatt power management and distribution system aboard the Boeing 787. The lab also will pull in know-how from fellow companies and outside suppliers to solve issues surrounding weight, power density, thermal loss, and high-voltage distribution that are critical in making significant steps forward in electric propulsion.

It will be used in the development of multiple multi-megawatt-class generators, motors, and motor controls that can be certified an operate safely in every environment and failure mode. The first of the projects to take advantage of the grid will be the recently revealed Project 804, a hybrid demonstrator that involves a re-engined de Havilland Dash 8 Series 100.

The Grid will enable the company to design and test the next generation of electric aircraft across business aviation, commercial, military, unmanned, and urban air mobility markets, Collins Aerospace CEO Kelly Ortberg said.

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AINWebinar: A New Approach to Flight Department Technology

Modern flight departments and operations are eager for solutions that embrace 21st century technology and accessibility, especially for the critical task of maintenance tracking. Learn about how embracing technology can have a positive effect on your flight department and aircraft value, as well as reduce inefficiencies and error-ridden processes that lead to a reactionary culture.

Join AIN editor-in-chief Matt Thurber on April 10, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. EDT as he moderates the discussion with Jeff McClean, aviation director of maintenance, Procter & Gamble; Deborah Bew, founder, Aircraft Acquisitions; and Lee Brewster, director of product marketing at Flightdocs. Sponsored by Flightdocs. Register for the free webinar.

AINalerts News Tips/Feedback: News tips may be sent anonymously, but feedback must include name and contact info (we will withhold name on request). We reserve the right to edit correspondence for length, clarity and grammar. Send feedback or news tips to AINalerts editor Chad Trautvetter.
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