October 9, 2011

Exhibitors bringing their best to NBAA

The National Business Aviation Association's meeting and convention is the place for companies to announce new and upgraded products and to show them off to the U.S. and the world.

The National Business Aviation Association's meeting and convention is the place for companies to announce new and upgraded products and to show them off to the U.S. and the world.

Here are some of the companies and organizations expected to make news at this year's show:

Cessna Aircraft

After unveiling the M2 light business jet late last month, there's speculation about whether Cessna will announce another new product at the show, possibly a new, wider body business jet to replace its Sovereign.

Company officials declined comment.

The company is planning a special event Monday at its exhibit on the convention floor.

Cessna also will hold a news conference today during media day, held the day before the show officially opens.

Cessna also plans to showcase a mock-up of the M2 and is bringing an upgraded mock-up of the Citation Ten. The company made changes after talking with customers.

Cessna will have two Citation Mustangs on static display, one configured for special mission and another with a special paint scheme.

It's also bringing a CJ2+, CJ3, CJ4, XLS+, a Sovereign, two Grand Caravans, a 206 Stationair, and a Citation X fitted with winglets and an upgraded avionics package.

Cessna also will showcase new flight planning applications for the iPad.

Hawker Beechcraft

Hawker Beechcraft will announce some product upgrades along with changes to its brand with new tag lines, messaging and advertising for the Hawker and Beechcraft brands.

The company will display nearly a full lineup of aircraft at the static display at Henderson Executive Airport, where the Hawker 4000, Hawker 900XP, King Air 250 and C90, a Baron and Bonanza will be on view.

It's also bringing a mock-up of the Hawker 200, and it's debuting an aftermarket upgrade of the Hawker 400XPR.

Its exhibit inside the convention center will focus on its global customer support organization.

Bombardier Aerospace

Bombardier will hold two media conferences.

One will update its Learjet 85 program, based in Wichita. The other will focus on its 7000 and 8000 long-range corporate aircraft.

It also will display Wichita-assembled Learjet 45XR and 60XR aircraft and a mock-up of the Learjet 85 with a new interior. Also on display will be the Challenger 300, Challenger 605, Challenger 850 and a Global 6000.


The Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, Wichita's economic development arm, will join with about a dozen partners to market Wichita and south- central Kansas as the Air Capital of the World.

That addition means the GWEDC will have its largest presence at NBAA. The booth is sponsored by Spirit AeroSystems, Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft.

GWEDC officials will be joined by local, state and federal representatives from Kansas. The delegation will share with companies the benefits of doing business in Wichita, officials said.

As a draw to the exhibit, visitors will have the chance to win a Cessna Skycatcher.

The Wichita Aero Club will unveil the new logo touting Wichita as the Air Capital at a reception Monday at the GWEDC booth on the convention floor.

"Working with other area partners and the state, we're using it to convey the message to the entire industry that this is the region with the business, the infrastructure and the partnerships that allow aviation companies to succeed," said Dave Franson, executive director of the Wichita Aero Club.

U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Coyler and Kansas Secretary of Commerce Pat George will be guests at the reception.

The city of Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas Department of Commerce, Wichita Airport Authority, Image Resources Group, National Institute for Aviation Research, National Center for Aviation Training, K-96 Corridor, Wichita Aero Club, Apex Engineering, Metal Finishing Co. and Assystem are part of the delegation.


PWI's focus at the show will be to showcase a new product — a retrofit for King Air lighting. The kit will replace the current interior fluorescent lighting with LED lighting.

The kits can be installed through modification shops, maintenance facilities and Hawker Beechcraft Service Centers. The change takes only two to three hours and is available now, said PWI president Robi Lorik.

PWI partnered with Lee Engineering to come up with the design.

"We're very excited," Lorik said.

Winglet Technology

Bob Kiser, president of Winglet Technology, will introduce an elliptical winglet designed for the Hawker 200. It also will be available as a retrofit on Premier I and Premier IA jets.

Winglets will increase the maximum range and performance of the plane, Kiser said.

The company will have a scale model of the Premier I with the winglet and a full-scale winglet on display at its booth at the convention hall.

"I'm optimistic about the attention and the interest in our products," Kiser said.


NBAA will present native Wichitan Clay Lacy with its highest honor, the Meritorious Service to Aviation Award.

Lacy was an Air Force and airline pilot, a national air racer, and a director and videographer specializing in air-to-air sequences for Hollywood movies and TV commercials.

Participants in a roundtable session following the presentation include actor and pilot Harrison Ford; Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Randy Babbitt; Gene Cernan, Apollo XVII commander and the last person to walk on the moon; Bob Hoover, former show pilot and Air Force test pilot; and Lloyd "Fig" Newton, former lead pilot for the Air Force Thunderbirds.

An opening general session will feature Babbitt, National Transportation Safety Board chairwoman Deborah Hersman, and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, among others.

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