Business aviation is just getting started in China, and faces both infrastructure and industrial challenges, but the intent is clear. A Chinese attempt to buy U.S. manufacturer Hawker Beechcraft out of bankruptcy failed, but Cessna is continuing negotiations with AVIC and municipal governments to build the Citation XLS+, Latitude and Sovereign in China.
AVIC subsidiary China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (Caiga) owns Cirrus in the U.S., which is developing the SF50 Vision very light jet (VLJ) for certification in 2015. Caiga also acquired rights to designs from U.S. company Epic Aircraft and is developing the single-turboprop Primus 100/150 and Starlight 100/200 light jets, as well as the Y15-2000 utility turboprop.
Turboprops constitute one of two market segments that held up through the downturn. The other is large-cabin jets, exemplified by the Mach 0.925, 6,000-nm Gulfstream G650, which entered service at the end of 2012 with a five-year production backlog. The largest and fastest purpose-designed business jet, the G650 will not face direct competition until Bombardier's 7,300-nm Global 7000 arrives in 2106, followed in 2017 by the 7,900-nm Global 8000.
Airbus and Boeing are reengining their narrowbody airliners, with implications for their corporate models. Boeing Business Jets plans to offer the 737-8-based BBJ MAX 8—with 6,325-nm range, 14% more than the BBJ 2— and larger BBJ MAX 9 and is studying a smaller BBJ MAX 7. Airbus's A320NEO family will not include the small A318, so a reengined ACJ318 Airbus Corporate Jet is not planned.
With recovery still a few years away, most companies are focused on refreshing existing products. Dassault's 3,350-nm Falcon 2000S, a large-cabin jet at a lower super mid-size price, will enter service early in 2013, followed shortly after by the 4,000-nm 2000LXS.
Cessna's has revamped the mid-size Citation Sovereign and Mach 0.935 Citation X for 2013, while it develops the mid-size Latitude for 2015 and super mid-size Longitude for 2017.
The light-jet market will be slowest to recover, but the product pipeline is beginning to refill. In 2013, Bombardier plans to begin delivering the Learjet 70/75 (revamped 40/45) and all-composite Learjet 85, as the company studies the market for a smaller version of its all-new jet. Cessna will introduce the Citation M2 in 2013, and is test-marketing a new light jet to replace the CJ series and fight back against Embraer.
Eclipse aims to begin delivering the improved Eclipse 550 in mid-2013, Honda hopes its HondaJet will enter service by year-end, and Diamond plans to certificate the single-engined D-Jet in 2014, although few expect a VLJ air-taxi market to reemerge. But the turboprop sector is looking stronger, with Beechcraft and Cessna studying pressurized singles to compete with the Pilatus PC-12.
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