Weekly Wrap-up Video Update 3/4/16
Here are the top aviation news stories that you may have missed this week. Let us know what you think by commenting below. Be sure to subscribe on Youtube to be the first to get the Weekly Wrap-up Video Updates. Also, if you missed last week’s Wrap-up, you can catch it here.
NetJets Gains and Loses
Aircraft fractional ownership company NetJets saw an overall reduction in profits despite receiving increased revenue in 2015. When compared to 2014, NetJets’ pre-tax earnings declined by $46 million. However, revenue at NetJets increased by 5% partially due to a 50% surge in aircraft sales.
This increase was offset by increased personnel, aircraft subcontracting and maintenance expenses. Berkshire Hathaway also points to lower fuel cost recoveries ($189 million) and unfavorable foreign currency effects ($104 millions) as factors that contributed to lower operational revenue.
UPDATE: FAA Reauthorization Bill Halted
The FAA reauthorization bill has stalled as controversy surrounding the proposal to create a user fee based private ATC organization grows. Multiple groups, from general aviation to FAA unions have fiercely opposed the ATC proposal, claiming the move would be a disservice to the overall industry. A short-term extension is expected to be put in place until the bill can be agreed upon.
NASA’s Supersonic Contract
The now retired Concorde was the first commercially successful supersonic aircraft ever produced. However, during its time in service, the aircraft was restricted from supersonic flight over the U.S. and Europe due to the shockwave it produced. NASA hopes to bring the general public back to the age of supersonic transport through the utilization of Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST).
This week, the agency announced that it has awarded a $20-million-dollar contract to Lockheed Martin to design a commercially viable supersonic aircraft. Lockheed’s mission is to create a QueSST aircraft that will significantly reduce the sonic boom on the ground. Lockheed Martin plans to work with GE Aviation and Tri Models to develop the preliminary design. This will be the first of the X-planes the NASA has planned in its New Aviation Horizons initiative we covered in last week’s Wrap-up.
USAF’s B-21 Bomber
The United States Air Force’s nuclear arsenal and delivery vehicles are aging. Many of the launch vehicles and aircraft used to deliver thermonuclear weapons were developed during the Cold War and the cost to maintain these older weapons is steadily increasing. This week, the USAF unveiled a rendering of the new B-21 bomber that hopes to combat the issue.
The creation of the B-21 is intended to replace the aging B-2 and B-52 fleet, modernizing the United States’ strike capabilities. The USAF plans on buying 80 – 100 B-21s at an estimated price of $500 million each. The aircraft is now in the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase and expected to begin testing in 2020.
MH370 Part Found?
A piece of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 may have washed up on the coast of Mozambique. The object, currently being examined by investigators and Boeing Engineers, reportedly has “NO STEP” on it. As of now, the object is suspected to be a part of the plane’s horizontal stabilizer.
So far, only a flaperon from the aircraft has been found. Interestingly, both objects have been found on the same corner of the Indian Ocean and may help investigators narrow their search area. It has been nearly two years since contact was lost with the aircraft carrying 239 people on board.
Top 5 Turboprops With Strong Resale Values
Be sure to take a look at our list of the top turboprop aircraft with strong resale values here.
5280 Aviation is a Denver based team of aviation experts specializing in aircraft sales and consulting. Weekly, 5280 Aviation brings you a curated list of aviation news stories that you may have missed. We keep our finger on the pulse of the industry so you don’t have to. Visit aircraft-sales.com and learn more about our services and how we will help you.