Aviation News

Will Personal VTOL Craft Pave the Way for Intrastate Air Commute?

Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft aren’t novel; yet there’s been more buzz than usual about these aircraft in recent years. Now, in 2020, several companies have trotted out prototypes for single- and multi-passenger VTOLs in the hopes to capitalize on what they think will be a brand-new market segment: Intrastate air travel.

Take a commute like Washington D.C. to Baltimore, MD. It’s an hour by car on the Washington Parkway — or as much as 90 minutes with traffic. Yet, it’s a distance too short for chartering a jet. Helicopter travel is an option, but not one that’s widely accessible. Through all these variables is where you’ll find the addressable market for VTOLs.

VTOLs offer lucrative benefits

Private aviation companies have their eye on VTOL prototypes as a segue into unlocking the lucrative possibilities for rapid intrastate travel. Because VTOL aircraft take off and land from a standstill, there’s no need for a runway — which means no need for airfield crews or terminal rentals. Unlike private jets and conventional airplanes, VTOL aircraft can go just about anywhere.

There’s also broader access to passengers to consider. With a private jet, passengers must be at a jet-friendly location to fly. Juxtapose this with a taxi, for example. Which generates more revenue in a day? Week? Monthly? With VTOL aircraft, travel distances may be shorter, but that only makes them more accessible and in-demand. All this, without flying from one airport to the next.

Finally, VTOL technology allows private aviation companies access to various aircraft designs, which may be more lucrative investments. When people hear about VTOL aircraft, they often visualize helicopters, powered with rotary wings. However, companies like Boeing have begun to push the envelope on what VTOL aircraft can look like. The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, for example, has VTOL capabilities but uses fixed wings during flight.

Source: bellflight.com

Here’s what the future of VTOL looks like

VTOL prototypes come and go, but the latest crop of contenders looks more promising than ever before.

Canadian aerospace producer WatFly announced plans to begin producing its Atlas VTOL next year. The craft runs on electricity, emitting zero pollution, which has piqued the attention of flyers with cognitive dissonance surrounding the current spotlight on jet emissions. The Atlas seats one person and WatFly claims it’s easier to operate than a car. The craft is currently only approved for recreational use.

Market adjacent is Jaunt Air Mobility, with its Journey VTOL. The craft takes off like a helicopter and flies like an airplane — similar to the hybrid performance of the V-22 Osprey. According to Jaunt, its prototype is 63 percent quieter than helicopters, with LevelFly technology for stable take-offs and landings. The company has its eyes set on the up-and-coming intrastate commuter industry.

VTOL is the new way to get places

In the coming years, companies like Uber will transform how urban dwellers travel in the city. Getting stuck in LA’s bumper-to-bumper traffic will be a thing of the past. VTOL craft have the potential to bring taxis to the sky.

VTOL aircraft will save passengers hours of commuting time on interstate roads. Uber air taxis and other future aircraft will skip over traffic jams and offer the fastest route between locations. The biggest selling point? Once VTOL craft hit the market, intrastate travelers will take to the sky simply for the novelty of it — then stay for the benefits.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

Commercial Airlines Benefit From a Bailout; Will BIzAV Get the Same?

On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was ratified. The bill is a major stimulus for areas of the economy hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic — commercial aviation included.

The bill offers airlines just north of $60 billion in support loans and grants, in the hope airlines will keep their staff tenured and their operations afloat for the next few months. The problem? The bill is only inclusive to Part 135 operators, which leaves a majority of the private aviation sector (Part 91) to fend for itself.

Commercial aviation’s bailout

The funds appropriated to commercial aviation via the CARES Act are akin to the bailouts given to the automotive industry in the Great Recession. The breakdown of the $61 billion is really split into two forms of aid. First, there’s $29 billion in loans and loan guarantees for air carriers, Part 145 aircraft repair stations, and ticket agents. Then, there’s $32 billion in payroll protection grants for air carriers and their contractors. The two funds will prop up commercial aviation over the next several months.

In addition to direct funding, commercial aviation will also benefit from a provision offering “relief to air carriers from federal excise taxes that apply to transporting passengers and cargo, and the purchase of aviation jet fuel.” Airports and commercial aviation facilities also receive aid above and beyond the $61 billion allocated to operators, to the tune of $10 billion for large airports and $100 million for service facilities.

What about private aviation?

Language in the CARES Act leaves private aviation almost entirely out. The stimulus focuses on Part 135 operators and the roughly 750,000 jobs within the commercial aviation industry. Part 91 operators are, ultimately, left high and dry.

But business aviation is pushing for its own stimulus. In a joint letter to the Senate, top executives from across the business and private aviation sector called attention to the lack of support for BizAV and respectfully asked legislators to consider the impact of COVID-19 on long-term business. The letter states:

“We applaud your decisive actions to provide rapid relief during this crisis. As you consider the third relief package, we respectfully request that all air carriers, including air charter and fractional operators, be included as was the case in Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act passed after the September 11 terrorist attacks. These companies are a vital part of our transportation network and serve as a lifeline for communities large and small throughout the country.”

The optics of a bailout

It’s widely speculated that BizAV was omitted from the CARES Act due to bad optics. The general public associates private aviation with wealthy extravagance and often fails to see its practical utility. Extending financial aid to the aviation industry as a whole — including private air charters — may have been seen as freewheeling by those already critical of the bailout.

Is it likely private aviation will get its own bailout? In the present climate, no. That said, there are provisions baked into the CARES Act that charter companies may be able to take advantage of — namely, the $500 billion allocated for big business recovery, of which any enterprise can apply for government assistance.

Economic downturn at the hands of COVID-19 is far from over, and it’s likely that the economy will languish long after the pandemic has passed. Private aviation, like all businesses, is in for a rocky time. While there’s no promising prospects for another aviation bailout, there will likely be opportunity for general stimulus as government continues to support the economy.

Contact the experts at L & L International if you need assistance acquiring or selling a private jet. You can reach our sales specialists today at sales@L-Lint.com, call us any time at +1 (305) 754-3313, or visit us online.

Coronavirus is Driving Huge Demand for Private Jet Charters

It’s been a little more than 90 days since coronavirus first appeared in the headlines. Since then, it’s become a full-blown pandemic, affecting more than 25 countries and tens of thousands of people.

Beyond the obvious health ramifications, virtually every sector of the economy has been crippled by the virus. Manufacturing facilities have shut down. Supply chains have ground to a halt. World economies have plunged. But amidst all this, private aviation is … up? It sounds too good to be true, but private aviation has seen a boom by almost every metric over the last quarter, fueled largely by fears of coronavirus.

Why is the private aviation industry booming?

Private aviation largely has the media to thank for its upswing in demand. As media frenzy mobilizes people to fly home, thousands request private charters to distance themselves from the latest coronavirus outbreak. Flights are the most expensive when they’re requested to arrive within 24 hours. But many businesses and individuals are paying whatever it takes to evacuate coronavirus-infected locations.

People choose private jets because it reduces their risk of contracting coronavirus. Commercial airlines have a much larger volume of people passing through their terminals. There’s no telling where the passengers have been or if they’re sick. With a private jet, people fly with their colleagues or family, without the presence of strangers. Often, that peace of mind is worth the price of the flight.

Demand increases as coronavirus spreads

Unlike commercial airlines, travel bans don’t always restrict private aviation. Passengers board jets from a separate terminal and bypass health screenings. While airlines are cancelling commercial flights, private jets are swooping in to evacuate those who can afford it.

More people than usual are turning to private aviation companies. Wealthy families who’d normally book a commercial flight are dropping thousands on private charters, whether to get home or to preserve the vacation they’ve already pre-planned. In fact, the industry experienced a 214% increase in business this past January!

As long as coronavirus remains at large, the private aviation boom won’t slow down anytime soon.

Travel restrictions and their loopholes

Many countries affected by coronavirus have strict traveling policies. China has prohibited inbound flights, and those arriving face quarantine for the next 14 days. Italy, Iran, and more countries by the day have begun following suit. It’s getting harder and harder to ignore the relative ease of private aviation as airports become frenzied.

The U.S. also is prohibiting entrance from anyone who’s visited Iran within the last 14 days. Although the U.S. will permit entrance from China, all flights route to one of the few approved airports. But that’s for U.S. citizens only. They’re not accepting non-U.S. citizens from China at all.

Private aviation bypasses these and many other travel restrictions. Passengers on private jets also don’t have to go through added checkpoints and temperature checks. They’ll be able to travel much faster than passengers on commercial flights.

While economies across the world are suffering, the private aviation industry is thriving. If coronavirus sticks around, private aviation will see more than enough interest to stay afloat during the economic stress.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

A Look at Dirigibles and their Role in the Future of Aviation

Airships don’t have the best history. Many ventures have tried and failed to get off the ground, and there’s always the black mark of the Hindenburg disaster of 1937 to contend with as well. But that hasn’t stopped innovators from exploring the potential of rigid airships. Thanks to new technologies and demand for certain forms of air travel, we’re likely to see dirigibles again soon. New designs, including the mammoth Airlander 10 airship prototype, could herald the next wave of airships in a fanfare of new-age air travel.

Airships throughout history

Airships have been a source of fascination since 1785, when two innovators managed to cross the English Channel in a hydrogen balloon. By 1852, Henri Giffard flew a steerable, steam-powered airship for 17 miles, going at a speed of about 6 mph. By the 1960s, the Goodyear blimp was a household name.

Airships may not be entirely practical for long-distance travel, but by harnessing mid-latitude jet streams, Fedor Konyukhov was able to cross the world in just 11 days back in 2016. While the slow speed would be a drawback for travelers, a Swedish company called OceanSky Cruises thinks that’s part of the charm. Instead of hydrogen, these airships are diesel and electric powered.

A new old way to travel

The carbon footprint that comes with private aviation travel has been at the forefront of environmental discussions in the last few years, with the term “flight shame” coined in 2019. OceanSky Cruises points out that rigid airships are kinder to the environment and produce 75% fewer emissions than comparable aircraft. This is due to the helium-filled hull, which makes it “lighter than air.”

Experts suggest that airships might be a good way to handle last mile delivery, thanks to the ability of airships to take off and land in places that other aircraft, like cargo jets, cannot. But the founder of OceanSky Cruises is hoping to use dirigibles for another purpose: luxury travel.

Like a modern cruise ship or luxury train ride, the “low and slow” flights could be the newest way to travel recreationally. Current models may be able to stay in the air as long as three days, carry 16 passengers, and cover as much as 2,000 nautical miles. OceanSky Cruises compares them to a “floating 5-star hotel.”

With safety measures constantly upgraded and tested, OceanSky predicts this quiet and slow method of travel could take off by the year 2024. Will they replace jets? Probably not — but the idea is intriguing to airship aficionados. OceanSky is just one of several companies pouring money into dirigible development, with many applications in mind. In the broadening realm of air travel, dirigibles may yet still find a niche to occupy.

Contact the experts at L & L International if you need assistance acquiring or selling a private jet. You can reach our sales specialists today at sales@L-Lint.com, call us any time at +1 (305) 754-3313, or visit us online.

Push-Button Landing: The Newest, Biggest Step Toward BizAv Automation

You’ve heard of parking assist for luxury SUVs. What about landing assist for private jets? It’s the first step toward truly autonomous flying, and it’s a feature Vision Jet buyers will soon experience. With this new feature, any passenger can take limited control of the jet, route to the nearest airport, and land the plane! It sounds like a feat of impossibility, but far from it. It’s manufacturer Cirrus’ way of improving safety and airworthiness in its most-delivered plane.

Dubbed SafeReturn™, the safety feature is a product of collaboration between Cirrus and Garmin. And while its premise is jaw-dropping as a safety feature, its untapped potential in the realm of autonomous flying has many aviation teams excited about what’s next.

So easy a child could do it

SafeReturn™ is designed to be as simple as possible to use and as technologically robust as modern technology allows.

The premise is simple. A pilot becomes incapacitated, unable to fly the plane, putting passengers in danger. A passenger activates SafeReturn™ by pushing a button, which, when activated, will announce autonomous flight mode to the cabin. Internally, the plane uses its positioning system to find the nearest airport, charts a course to that airport, relays proper air traffic signals, and eventually lands itself. No passenger intervention needed. Amazing.

From manned to unmanned aircraft

The execution of SafeReturn™ goes far beyond charting a course back to safety. The entire Vision Jet engages in a transition from manned aircraft to unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Flight screens meant for the pilot are replaced with resources for passengers. Terrain avoidance systems allow the plane to automatically adapt en route to its landing. It even avoids hazardous weather.

Cirrus put passenger peace of mind at the forefront of its SafeReturn™ system. Audio alerts calm passengers by telling them where the UAV is headed and how long until landing. The system even signals the emergency broadcast channel, notifying first responders to meet the plane at touchdown in the event of a medical emergency.

On approach, the system controls absolutely every aspect of landing, from throttling back to extending slats, to deploying landing gear, and even braking. The only human intervention throughout the entire process is when the passengers open the door and step out onto the tarmac safely.

The future of autonomous flight

The impact of SafeReturn™ as a safety feature cannot be understated. It’s contribution to an inevitable future of autonomous flight may be even greater, however. Cirrus and Garmin have proven that in the most dire of situations, a pilot isn’t required to get a plane to where it needs to go. It’s only a matter of time before this feature is extrapolated into others and the features of autonomous planes become more robust.

Right now, SafeReturn™ is only available on the Cirrus Vision Jet. Garmin plans to license this technology to other small-cabin manufacturers, as well as midsized jet manufacturers. With broader exposure and further innovation, it’s likely we’re soon to see features like autonomous taxiing, adaptive weather controls, and smarter course adjustment features in the future. We’re not at the point where pilots are obsolete yet, but SafeReturn™ certainly makes it feel like we’re not a long way off!

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

How is the Brexit Debacle Affecting Private Aviation?

Brexit continues to be a debacle. Deadlines come and go with the country stepping back and forth across the line between leaving and staying a member of the European Union. Even now, the Brexit deadline has been extended a third time to January 31, 2020. If no deal is passed by the new January deadline, the U.K. is expected to leave the E.U. in a hard Brexit. As the world waits with bated breath, many industries (including aviation) have begun planning for change.

Detangling the airways

The first and biggest problem a hard Brexit presents comes in the form of airway control. Right now, U.K. and E.U. air traffic control are on the same page. Flight planning is part of a comprehensive system, which ensures standardized regulations, practices, and controls. If the U.K. departs, that cohesive relationship goes with them.

This problem grows even more concerning, considering London is the largest international hub for flights to and from North America. Private charters and other air traffic using the U.K. as a stop between transatlantic flights may find themselves dealing with complicated flight logistics and additional protocols entering and exiting U.K. airspace.

Thankfully, there are contingencies to prevent these headaches in the event of a hard Brexit pass. The European Commission has enacted a contingency action plan. Among other things, this plan keeps air connectivity between the U.K. and the E.U. open until specific regulations can be drafted.

Visa-free travel may disappear

More than detangling the airwaves, there’s also the matter of visas to address. Right now, travel between the U.K. and the rest of Europe doesn’t require any special visas. This may change — although early drafts of possible legislation from the U.K. hint that visa-free travel may remain for a small fee. If legislation falls through, the visa situation could become complex very quickly. Best-case scenario is something similar to a Schengen visa, available only after a predetermined waiting period.

Waning supply and demand

Economic effects also ripple from the prospect of a hard Brexit. Aircraft manufacturers face trepidation from buyers who may be waiting until after legislation passes (or fails) to order.

Plane manufacturer Dassault is a clear example of Brexit’s looming effect on ordering. The company has experienced a 60% slump in orders so far in 2019 and is pointing the finger at Brexit for much of the decline. Dassault Aviation chairman Eric Trappier cited a dip in European sales, attributing the slide to Brexit uncertainties.

Dassault remains relatively unperturbed by the pullback in sales, citing strong North American activity to compensate. The company, like many other manufacturers, believes orders will pick up again once there’s clarity over Brexit.

Uncertainty is the biggest factor

With the hard exit deadline looming for Brexit, the source of most problems for the aviation industry comes from uncertainty. No one knows if the U.K. will stay or go, and if they leave, what disruptions will occur. The last thing anyone wants to do is buy a plane or chart a trip to a country that may soon have to restructure and reorganize a dramatic part of its aviation industry.

Until the gavel pounds a decision on Brexit, private aviation is in a self-imposed freeze. Clarity on the situation should be enough to thaw and restart the industry, but it’s looking like no one will really know what to do until right before it needs to be done.

Contact the experts at L & L International if you need assistance acquiring or selling a private jet. You can reach our sales specialists today at sales@L-Lint.com, call us anytime at +1 (305) 754-3313, or visit us online.

Textron Suspends Plans for its Hemisphere Jet Over Engine Concerns

After initially suspending the Cessna Hemisphere in April 2018, there was speculation that Textron may cancel the program altogether. However, Textron Aviation has reported that the project has simply been put on hold. Textron Aviation CEO Scott Donnelly cited manufacturer delays and engine performance concerns as the chief reason for suspension. The Cessna Hemisphere remains in the realm of ‘what could be’ as it has been touted as the next big winner in the category of large-cabin jets.

The early indicators of a market leader

Announced in 2015 at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) conference, the Cessna Hemisphere was set to be a triumphant return to the skies for bigger Cessna jets after canceling its anticipated Columbus six years prior. It was well received and much anticipated, boasting the widest cabin in its class and seating for 19.

Behind plenty of industry hype, Textron announced a partnership with engine maker Safran in 2016, pledging to outfit its jets with the company’s new Silvercrest engines. But these engines would eventually become its undoing.

Troubled engines won’t fly

At the time the partnership was announced, Safran’s Silvercrest engines were still in development. As final designs were mounted on the airframe, problems began to take shape.

Initially, the Silvercrest engines responded poorly to commands during high-altitude tests. Then, issues with pressure losses exacerbated engine performance over extended ranges. Safran made modifications, but to no avail. Ground tests continued to show performance issues in key areas like fuel economy ― a must-win column for Textron.

Ultimately, Textron decided to terminate its partnership with Safran in 2018. Textron CEO Scott Donnelly points to engine inadequacy as the sole reason for parting ways, claiming “it was purely the engine.” The Silvercrest engine failed to meet key performance benchmarks that would’ve set the Hemisphere apart as a standalone competitor in the large-cabin class. Larger engines, like the PW800 commonly used on bigger airframes, weren’t an option due to issues with fuel economy. Without the Silvercrest engine, Textron put the Hemisphere on hold.

Is there more to the story?

The failure of the Silvercrest engine to perform to Textron’s standards is a cut-and-dry reason to suspend the project. But the staunchness of those performance standards may have a bigger backstory.

Textron is well known for its small and midsize jets. The Hemisphere would’ve been its first major foray into a competitive large-cabin jet, which would’ve immediately put it in the ring with the likes of Gulfstream, Dassault, and Bombardier. Without the ability to trump established large-cabin jets on metrics like fuel economy and range, the Hemisphere may have fallen flat in this new category.

Knowing this, Textron was banking on the innovations of the Silvercrest engine to power it past the competition. When it failed, Textron had no choice but to put the project on hold.

Is there a Hemisphere in the future?

This isn’t the first time engine troubles halted a private aircraft in development. The Dassault Falcon 5X fell to the same type of problems in 2017 ― also banking on the Silvercrest engine. Despite the failings of the Falcon 5X, the Falcon 6X is scheduled to fly in 2021. Is this what the future has in store for the Hemisphere?

It’s unclear. Textron’s focus continues to be on small and medium-sized cabins. However, Donnelly commented recently that the program could be revisited given the state of the market, competitive landscape, and of course, proven engine performance. In the meantime, Textron is likely to focus on its other pipeline projects: The Cessna Citation Longitude business jet, Cessna Denali turboprop, and the Cessna SkyCourier (fleet).

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals for information on how to get started.

VoltAero’s ‘Iron Bird’ Enters Flight Testing Stage

Source: voltaero.aero

In 2014, promise of an innovative new private aircraft came in the form of Airbus’ electric E-Fan project. Meant to be a hybrid electric craft, it would revolutionize private aviation on both ecological and cost fronts. But just three years later, in April 2017, Airbus abruptly canceled the project, citing unjustifiable production costs and a lack of demand. Now, just two years later, the project is in rebirth under a new name and company, backed by the same creative minds.

Meet VoltAero

VoltAero is a startup helmed by CEO Jean Botti, former Chief Technical Officer of Airbus and Didier Esteyne, test pilot of the original E-Fan project. Based out of the renowned Royan-Medis Aerodrome in France, VoltAero has been hard at work on a modern iteration of the canceled E-Fan: the Cassio.

VoltAero’s mission isn’t just to bring the Cassio to light after a tumultuous timeline, the company also aims to popularize hybrid aircraft — specifically the “push-pull” configuration of electric motors and internal combustion engines. The company hopes to produce aircraft suitable for regional travel, for “private owners, air taxi/charter companies, commercial flights for point-to-point regional travel, and for use in other utility-category applications.”

Source: voltaero.aero

The Cassio: A breakdown

The Cassio borrows its design from the Cessna 337 Skymaster airframe. It features a 150-kW motor-driven pusher prop and two forward-facing props, both driven by 60 kW electric motors. A thermal combustion engine supplements the craft. All told, the Cassio is expected to push “600 kW of power: 300 kW from electric motors and 300 kW from the thermal engine.”

Total range on the Cassio isn’t yet known, though initial projections anticipate a maximum range of 1,300 km. Botti anticipates pure electrical flights of 200 km, moderate hybrid flights of 200-600 km, and heavy reliance on hybrid power for flights beyond 600 km. The Cassio’s design seats up to nine people comfortably.

A unique feature of the Cassio is the ability to dictate the fuel source. The craft has two levers delineating electric and thermal fuel. Pilots define the ratio of power on hybrid flights, while the craft’s automated balancing system sends appropriate output to the pusher and forward props for seamless control.

Source: voltaero.aero

Testing and beyond

Using the results of its flight testing, VoltAero plans to fine-tune the Cassio before bringing the craft to market. The company has already begun design of the Cassio 2 — an all-composite airframe due out by 2022. In the meantime, VoltAero is working with the French government for certification in the new CS23 category. Upon certification, the company aims to attract investors and begin producing 150 craft per year, targeting regional BizAv needs.

The proven record of its founders and relative success of the program makes VoltAero’s Cassio an exciting prospect for hybrid jet enthusiasts.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

Is the Supersonic Flight Making a Comeback in BizAv?

During the golden era of air travel, flights crisscrossing the Atlantic regularly broke the speed of sound. The Concorde, a French-British built aircraft that traveled between North American and Europe, as well as the Soviet-built Tupolev Tu-144, could hop between continents in less than 3 1/2 hours.

Supersonic jets were high-end travel options reserved for business professionals, celebrities, and political elites. They symbolized the speed, efficiency, and promise of the interconnected, highly globalized modern world.

Today, supersonic flights are reserved exclusively for military and research purposes. The last supersonic jets for passenger use were decommissioned in 2003. While it may seem like the days of high-class, rapid intercontinental travel have been relegated to yesteryear, aircraft manufacturers and global regulators are beginning to collaborate on a new market for potential supersonic passenger carriage: business aviation (BizAv).

Production developments over the past decade

One of the most exciting recent events for supersonic aficionados is Boeing’s recent investment in Aerion, a company working to research, design, and produce a supersonic jet specifically made for BizAv.

Boeing is stepping in to finance Aerion’s development of an aircraft, currently called the Aerion AS2. Formerly developed in partnership with Lockheed Martin, many industry analysts expected the project to fold following Lockheed Martin’s withdrawal. Boeing’s investment and assistance with the project, however, indicate that the larger aviation industry is interested in bringing supersonic flights back for BizAv purposes.

The Aerion AS2, slated to debut in 2023, makes a number of improvements on the Concorde’s mid-century commercial air traffic design. The Aerion AS2, for instance, will travel at a top speed of Mach 1.4, compared to the Concorde’s Mach 2.04. This slightly lower (but still supersonic) speed will allow for what the company calls “boomless cruise.” This means the jet’s sonic boom won’t reach the ground — which proved to be a major concern for Concorde flights.

The Concorde’s cabin was elegant, but tiny and cramped. The Aerion AS2 features a much more spacious cabin design, emphasizing comfort and in-flight productivity. The jet will accommodate as many as 12 passengers.

Other aviation startups, including Boom and Spike, are also developing supersonic aircraft designed for BizAv use.

Regulatory changes coming down the pike

Before the supersonic business jets under development take flight, global regulations surrounding supersonic travel will need to change and adapt.

It’s currently against federal regulation, for instance, for supersonic flights to pass over the United States. Congress recently ordered the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to reevaluate its rules against supersonic flights in the United States.

Technological developments like Aerion’s boomless cruise could make it more palatable for regulators to once again approve supersonic flights. The hallmark sonic boom that accompanied supersonic flights was one of the most pressing concerns associated with supersonic aircraft. Now that the boom is no longer necessary, it’s likely only a matter of time before supersonic jets are once again cleared for takeoff.

Contact the experts at L & L International if you need assistance acquiring or selling a private jet. You can reach our sales specialists today at sales@L-Lint.com, call us any time at +1 (305) 754-3313, or visit us online.

3 Reasons India Is the Next Big BizAv Epicenter

India’s economy has rapidly risen to a stature as one of the most respected in the world within the past decade. One of the key hubs for global business, the country records roughly 2.3 million aircraft movements annually. But that number could be much higher very soon. India’s burgeoning BizAv status has yet to fully take off. The tailwinds are there and the demand is growing, but there are still a few hurdles to overcome. If it all pans out, India may very well be the epicenter for BizAv by 2030. Here’s why.

1. Strong presence of high net worth individuals

The biggest barrier to private aviation is and always has been the cost. BizAv is accessible only with a certain level of wealth.

India’s population of high net worth individuals ranks among the top in the world, and it’s only growing bigger. The number of high net worth individuals is expected to grow by an astounding 39% by 2023, showcasing a region of the world rife with wealth. This figure accounts for politicians, business executives, and independently wealthy individuals who have not only the means to use private aviation but also a reason to.

2. Position as a global economic hub

Delhi and Mumbai are two business and medical epicenters in India. Unsurprisingly, these two regions are also expected to witness the highest demand for BizAv in the coming years. With India serving as a global business hub connecting Europe, the United Arab Emirates, and Asia, business aviation traffic in and out of the country is booming.

With rising infrastructure and growing importance in the globalized economy, aviation growth in India is virtually inevitable. That’s why it’s no surprise that jet manufacturer Bombardier expects India’s own BizAv fleet to grow tenfold by 2033. If that prediction comes to fruition, India will represent the largest private aviation market in the world.

3. High presence of MRO facilities and operations

In addition to building out its own BizAv fleet, India is making the country an inviting prospect for fleets across the world. The country has rapidly and extensively built up its aviation maintenance and repair operations (MRO) to the point of being a world leader. In doing so, it’s setting the stage for rollout of its own fleet.

Mumbai is home to the only business-exclusive aviation airport in India, making it a convenient destination for jet owners to book MRO services for their jets. When they do, they have pick of more than 100 non-scheduled operators that provide ground handling, aircraft maintenance, MRO, and more.

What’s holding India back?

With India primed to become the world’s BizAv powerhouse, there are still factors standing in its way. Infrastructure continues to be a problem, as the country continues to expand rapidly. On the political side of things, import and customs standardization for BizAv still needs work, as taxation rates on BizAv are high. And with the government largely focused on civilian aviation, scheduled airlines are still given preference to private aviation at major airports.

Will India achieve its status as the BizAv powerhouse of the world? More than likely. The barriers it faces are barriers to other industries as well, which means they’ll likely be solved sooner rather than later. When they are, India will have no trouble being the epicenter for BizAv for the foreseeable future.

Contact the experts at L & L International if you need assistance acquiring or selling a private jet. You can reach our sales specialists today at sales@L-Lint.com, call us any time at +1 (305) 754-3313, or visit us online.