NBAA 2013 – LAS VEGAS

LUXURY JET INTERIORS visited THE NBAA 2013 taking place  in Las Vegas on October 22-24.   Las Vegas is a venue that needs no introduction and is a favorite among exhibitors and visitors alike. The spacious convention center is located in the heart of Las Vegas and in the vicinity of the famous and lively “Strip”. The larger jets were exhibited at the static display that was full this year with an array of 84 aircraft. Henderson Executive Airport, that caters to General Aviation, hosted the static display. Las Vegas is one of the few remaining locations that can support the size of the NBAA annual event. Here are a few highlights.

FALCON 5 X stars at the show with Marcel Dassault in attendance

The new comer to the large cabin business aircraft category is the Falcon 5X. Its scale model was unveiled at the show and a full size mock-up was presented at the static display. It will be the first “clean-sheet” design from Dassault and not a new version of a previous model. New fuselage, new wings, new engines, new functionalities. The cabin is slightly shorter then on the 7X that entered into service in 2007 but larger than any other Falcon with 10cm (4 inches) more headroom for a 1.98m height (6 feet 6 inches) and 25cm (10 inches) more floor width making it 2.58m at its widest point (8 feet 6 inches). This creates a 25.3 feet long main cabin (7.71m). It will boast 28 of the largest windows ever fitted on a Falcon. The mock-up also features a “light well” over the galley area. Aft baggage storage will consist of a 155 cubic feet (4.4 m3) pressurized compartment that is accessible in flight and one in the tail that is un-pressurized. The maiden flight for the first test aircraft is scheduled for the first half of 2015. The introductory price for a fully equipped aircraft is at about $45milion at this time. A second mock-up with a different interior design is being built and will be displayed at EBACE in 2014.

Potential buyers visiting the mock up discovered a new enveloping seat design with open armrests and the larger windows.

EMBRAER’s large presence

Embraer had a large presence at the show exhibiting 6 of its executive jets. Its new version of its flagship Lineage 1000E stood prominently at the static display. This ultra-large jet boasts many technical improvements and an increased range. Great efforts where made to lighten the aircraft including in the cabin whose floor space is 752 square feet (about 70m2).

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The other star at the show was Jackie Chan who is the owner of the first Chinese-registered Embraer Legacy 650. He was introduced at this NBAA as the China launch customer for the smaller Legacy 500. Serial Number 3 was on display at the static show.

PC-24 North American introduction

In May, Pilatus unveiled its new flagship PC24 light jet mock-up at EBACE. It was now on display for the first time in the US in what is expected to be its largest market area. It is scheduled to make its first flight in 2014 with an anticipated first client delivery in 2017.

LUXURY JET INTERIORS  participates in the NBAA CAREER SEMINAR

Speaker at the round table discussions: Sharing what skills and experiences need to be developed to prepare for a career in business aviation.

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Over all it was a dynamic show though the general mood was subdued.  A common theme among industry experts forecasts is the “cooling” of the demand in developing markets but it is still significantly higher than in the more mature markets. In addition, it appears that the super mid-sized class aircraft  all the way to business airliners are the most in demand compared to mid-size and smaller jets. Learjet celebrated its 50 years anniversary this year. 1963 was the beginning of business aviation. Perhaps less publicized is Dassault’s 50th anniversary with the first flight of the Falcon 20 prototype that year.

If the main purpose of the visit to Las Vegas is the convention there are many attractions in town.  For those in search of natural beauty, some of the most interesting National Parks are just a few hours away such as Death Valley or Zion.