Gulfstream Sees Supersonic Bizjet in 10 Years
Gulfstream Aerospace revealed at the NBAA convention in Atlanta last week that it could bring its supersonic business jet to the market in about 10 years' time. Gulfstream and partner Lockheed SkunkWorks are continuing to study the SBJ, whose main challenge is boom suppression technology. Gulfstream plans to complete the first phase of development in five years when a technology demonstrator, possibly a prototype, will be ready, said president Bill Boisture. From there, it will take five more years to bring the SBJ to market. "We're in this game for the long haul, to conquer the time barrier," Boisture said.
Bombardier Aerospace executive vice president of engineering and product development John Holding says the company is not looking at a supersonic business jet. The amount of capital required and the technical problems are "tremendous," he says, although they were quite interested in what Dassault Falcon Jet had discovered on the SST development. For now, Bombardier will stick with its current line of subsonic bizjets. "We have enough on our plate now," says Holding.
NBAA Gift Planned
NBAA President Jack Olcott announced that the Association has pledged to raise a minimum of $1 million toward the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's planned Dulles Center. International Lease Finance Corp president Steven Udvar-Hazy earlier this month donated $60 million toward the $170 million in costs needed to fund the center.
Last 737 Classic in Production
Boeing marked the completion of its last class 737 fuselage with a ceremony attended by employees and retirees who worked on the program during the last 34 years. The ceremony was held at the Boeing Wichita facility, where work on the 737 program has taken place since 1965. The fuselage will be sent by rail to the company's Renton, Washington, facility for final assembly. Designed to replace the Boeing 727, the first 737-100 was delivered to Lufthansa on December 28, 1967. The last fuselage will be for a 737-400 that will deliver to Czech Airways in February 2000.
Aero Lloyd Repeats A320 Order
Aero Lloyd, the German holiday carrier, placed a repeat order with Airbus for one additional A320 and two A321s. The order brings to 19 the number of A320 family aircraft ordered by Aero Lloyd, which already operates 11 Airbus narrowbodies - seven A320s and four A321s. The newly ordered aircraft will be delivered in 2001. The planes will operate between German and Austrian cities, and holiday destinations in Southern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands and the Near East. The purchase completes a fleet rollover plan to replace older-generation Boeing MD-80s earlier than originally planned.