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National Business Aviation Association 2013

gutshotdraw

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Some random musings from NBAA 2013 in no particular order.

Seems as if the OEM's are rolling out the red carpet again with LOT's of staff and the full court press on potential buyers. Displays are opulent, professional, and well attended even if the SWAG seems to be harder to come by than in years past.

The Convention Center floor was busy and both Halls were sold out.

Mandarin was practically the second language of the show. I saw LOTS of Asian attendees and several China-based companies with exhibitor booths including Deer Jet (among others). Chinese interests have bought up numerous US aviation companies of late and it is clear they will be a major aviation player moving forward.

The Garmin display was very busy and their varied and scaled avionics offerings were VERY impressive. Honeywell, not so much.

The Citation Latitude was a major surprise. Cabin is WAY bigger than I expected and west coast to Hawaii range. Potentially great airplane if they hit the numbers.

Lots of buzz at Falcon Jet over the announcement of the 5X and it will be a tremendous airplane if they hit the performance targets, which I expect they will.

Eclipse delivered their first 550 but I still have my doubts that they can compete with the Phenom 100 or the Mustang or CJ3 even with the new infusion of capital. The airplane is small. I mean REALLY small.

Kenny Dichter is spending pantloads of cash to promote Wheels Up including t-shirts and hats to the dozens of AIN kids hawking copies of ShowNews, and major SWAG at their booths.

EJM had a small booth as did NJASAP, the NetJets pilot union. NJA elected to ignore the main convention floor but had a large sales force presence at the static display at HND.

Speaking of the static displays, Gulfstream, Bombardier, and Embraer had their full production lines available although Gulfstream had their clipboard army guarding the velvet ropes to keep the riff raff out. Forget about seeing the 650 without an invitation and a credit check.

Maybe it's the Canadian thing but Bombardier is MUCH friendlier and open about showing off their airplanes. I happen to think they are quickly closing the gap with Gulfstream on customer service, AOG support, and product reliability. The day is rapidly approaching when Gulfstream will pay for their arrogance toward large portions of the marketplace and I say that as a DIEHARD Gulfstream driver who initially poo-poo'd the Global purchase at Netjets. Yea, it flies like a dump truck (a quote from a friend now flying it) but the owners seem to like it and reliability and AOG support have been better than expected.

Everything you have heard about the Challenger 300/350 is true. And then some. Great numbers, sexy ramp appeal, super comfortable cockpit, and a clean, stylish cabin. A potential home-run airplane.

Everything you have heard about the Phenom 300 cockpit is true. And then some. TINY cockpit. Seat all the way back and down and rudder pedals full forward and I STILL couldn't come close to full control deflection with the rams horn yoke. Kind of tough to land in a crosswind when the control yoke hits your knees.

Boeing had a BBJ on-site with the new Aviation Partners Scimitar Winglet. Really funky looking but super efficient according to flight tests.

For the NetJets folks in the audience, I lost count of the sales reps with NetJets nametags. We didn't buy a booth at the Convention Center but the sales action is at the static display and they were out in force. Sales are WAY ahead of expectations especially for the Global and the Challenger 350. Phenom sales are also ahead of projections. Vista Jet is seen as a worthy challenger in the market backed by a billionaire European playboy and bears watching. Wheels Up is seen as marketing wizardry by a talented self-promoter but the business model will have issues creating the cash flow necessary to be successful. $4000 an hour for a King Air? Really?

Nostalgia was popular with Bombardier displaying a Lear 23 to celebrate 50 years of Learjets. The hot blonde in 60's period costume was not even half as old as the airplane she was standing next to. Beechcraft had a classic Staggerwing in front of their display although I didn't see a hot blonde next to it.

Speaking of which, airplanes aren't the only eye-candy at NBAA. The static display is a non-stop parade of hot demo flight attendants, ridiculously beautiful convention models, attractive marketing and sales reps, and the bought-and-paid-for chippies-du-jour of the freakishly rich sales prospects browsing the dozens of new and used airplanes on the showroom floor.

As usual for October in Vegas, the weather was Chamber of Commerce perfect.

This year's convention showed me that despite all the economic and regulatory headwinds, business aviation is on the road to a pretty solid recovery.
 

X-rated

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Gut,

Excellent NBAA reporting. You should pass it to AIN as it's by far the most informative and pertinanent recap I've seen anywhere.

p.s.
Glad you're coming around on the Glex. I agree 100 % with your assessment; Bombardier is coming around and reliability, at least on our bird, is excellent. I would have said very heavy on the controls, but "dump truck" works too. It actually isn't as bad of a trait as it sounds. The plane really stays where you put it which has it's advantages, but without a doubt, nimble it isn't.

Now, turn off your computer. You're in Vegas for gods sake!
 

gret

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Thanks Gut!

Stopped going about 10 years ago out of sheer boredom...maybe worth going next year.
 

imacdog

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Hold on, Gut's not hating on Bombardier anymore?
 

gutshotdraw

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Hold on, Gut's not hating on Bombardier anymore?


I never hated on the 300/350. Great airplane. And probably my next bid. Although G-450 retirement has now been pushed to 2022 :beer:

605? Lipstick on a very old pig. Wouldn't be surprised to see that order cancelled. The salesmen can't sell it. Direct quote.

Global? Not for me but my friends in the airplane tell me they are very pleasantly surprised by the reliability and the AOG support they are getting. Handling qualities are not getting raves and you have to be VERY careful what you say in cockpit because it's so quiet. Otherwise, the program seems to be succeeding which is critical to the future of the company.
 

johnsonrod

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"The Citation Latitude was a major surprise. Cabin is WAY bigger than I expected and west coast to Hawaii range. Potentially great airplane if they hit the numbers."

Would Netjets actually consider using the airplane on flights to Hawaii? I know the Sovereign is not used.
 

Willy21

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Probably not. With the 350 coming online next year and the X, G200, Falcon, IV, 450 and 550 on property I would be surprised to see a NetJets Latitude in Hawaii.
 

gutshotdraw

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"The Citation Latitude was a major surprise. Cabin is WAY bigger than I expected and west coast to Hawaii range. Potentially great airplane if they hit the numbers."

Would Netjets actually consider using the airplane on flights to Hawaii? I know the Sovereign is not used.

NetJets probably won't use it for Hawaii but it is a major selling point for all those other potential customers out there.
 

johnsonrod

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Why won't the fractionals buy the Embraer 500?

Can someone tell me why the new Embraer 500 is getting so little love? Jackie Chan loves it and will be the launch customer. :D

Seriously - why haven't the remaining fractionals bought it? Yes, it has some new FBW technology, but everything I have read on it seems pretty positive in terms of comfort and performance... Wouldn't it be a good replacement for the G200 at Netjets (too bad the G280 isn't the replacement - that thing looks fantastic too)?

As a current Embraer driver (and my airplane is pretty solid despite being a dinosaur and archaic), it surprises me that the 500 hasn't sold more. The Phenoms seem to be selling quite well at Netjets and FLOPS.... I assumed Embraer would try to cut a deal given the previous Phenom orders.

Was there much interest in the 500 at NBAA? Anyone take a good look at it?
 

gutshotdraw

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I did look inside the 500. Well, the cockpit anyway. The cabin was blocked off by a fancy painted divider that told me they hadn't finished the completion in back.

Two years ago, I walked through the mock-up and was impressed by what I saw. Would have been nice to see the real-world complete airplane.

The cockpit seems very nice. Cleanest panel I have ever seen. Hardly any buttons. I would have sat in the cockpit for a moment but a salesman was up front with a prospect. There were a bunch of temporary wires taped here and there in the cockpit and the salesman was going on about "when this is certified it will...." And "when that is approved you can...." Struck me as very much a work in progress.

Haven't studied that airplane's numbers yet to get an idea about where it should sit within the market but there IS something that is a little "odd" about its ramp presence. Can't put my finger on it but it doesn't scream "fast and sexy" like so many other airplanes.

Maybe others see that too.
 
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johnsonrod

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If ramp presence was the big factor, the G200 (friend refers to it as the "G2Ugly"), probably wouldn't be as successful as it is... In contrast, the CL300/350 has a great ramp presence.

Based on what I have read in recent articles, the 500 sounds like a winner in terms of comfort and performance:

http://www.embraerexecutivejets.com/en-US/jets/legacy-500/Pages/technology.aspx

Still, surprising that Embraer hasn't worked out E500 deals with Netjets and FLOPS given the previous Phenom/Legacy orders...
 
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Jetz

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Still, surprising that Embraer hasn't worked out E500 deals with Netjets and FLOPS given the previous Phenom/Legacy orders...

FBW unknowns could be the main cause.

Buy American!
 

jetwash

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FBW unknowns could be the main cause.

Buy American!

If the FBW works like the Brake by Wire on the Phenoms and has similar issues then that might be a reason the Fracs are waiting.
 
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