Latest private jet news & innovations on show at EBACE 2019

This week the PrivateFly team is at EBACE (European Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition) in Geneva, where we’re meeting industry colleagues, sharing our latest company news and – of course – experiencing a wide variety of private jet aircraft (including filming more of our popular video tours, coming soon).

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The PrivateFly team at EBACE 2019.

EBACE is a global highlight of our industry calendar and a time when private jet manufacturers and other industry suppliers make big announcements. So there’s always plenty of innovation to get excited about. Here are just some of the developments grabbing our attention this week.

Spotlight on sustainable fuel – including the G550’s record-breaking flight

Gulfstream G550 flying 700x466

A SAJF-fuelled G550 broke a speed record on its way to the show. Image: Gulfstream Aerospace

Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel (SAJF) is one of the biggest talking points at this year’s EBACE, with a number of aircraft fuelled by it as they flew in (many from London Farnborough Airport, which hosted a pre-show SAJF event).

A Gulfstream G550 even broke a record on the way, demonstrating that SAJF offers the same performance as conventional jet fuel but with more than a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions. The long range jet flew a new city pair record between Charleston in the US and London Farnborough – taking 7 hours and 13 minutes to fly the distance of 3,591 nautical miles, at an average speed of Mach 0.85.

The Praetor 600 is now certified

Praetor 600 fuelling up

The Praetor 600 was also fuelled by SAJF as it arrived at EBACE. Image: Embraer

The Praetor 600 was also fuelled by SAJF on its journey to Geneva, and is one of the most popular aircraft on the static display here at EBACE. Brazilian manufacturer Embraer announced that the new super-midsize jet has now passed certification in Europe and the US, with the first aircraft due to be delivered to a US owner before the end of June.

The $21 million Praetor 600 – along with its smaller sister the Praetor 500 (due for certification later this year) – has hit a sweet spot with buyers, combining technology (such as full fly-by-wire and active turbulence reduction) with style and value. It has the range to fly between Europe and the US, which puts it in direct competition with the current super-midsize market leader the Challenger 350, and the incoming Citation Longitude.

Pegasus unveils new VTOL aircraft

Pegasus One VTOL

Image: Pegasus Universal Aerospace

VTOL and electric aircraft offer the opportunity for business aviation to lead the way in sustainable air travel. So we were excited to see Pegasus Universal Aerospace showcasing a scale model of its Pegasus One VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) business aircraft here in Geneva.

The design combines the vertical operation of a helicopter, with a turbine business aircraft – opening up point-to-point air transport between a wide variety of locations, such as urban areas, yachts, and existing helipads.

The aircraft is planned to fly up to 6-8 passengers at a speed of 430 kts, and to fly up to 2,375 nm depending on its take off configuration (it can operate from a conventional runway or in VTOL mode). The company says operating costs will be competitive with business jets of similar range, but will have lower fuel burn.

The South African start-up is seeking investment and hoping to secure certification within seven years. It’s now building a full-scale cabin mock-up of Pegasus One, and planning to take this on a demonstration tour of Europe in 2020.

Falcon 6X on track for first flight in 2021

Falcon 6X

The Falcon 6X will offer the biggest cabin cross-section of any business jet. Image: Dassault

Dassault’s latest aircraft launch, the impressive Falcon 6X is another talking point at EBACE, as the French manufacturer announced the long range jet is on track for first flight in 2021, and entry-into-service in 2022.

A mock-up of the cabin at the show demonstrates its very spacious cabin cross-section – the biggest in business aviation. At 6ft 6 inches high and 8 ft 6 inches wide, this will be an important selling point against rival long range jets from Gulfstream and Bombardier.

Three cabin configurations will be offered, accommodating up to 14 passengers.

Pilatus reopens PC-24 order book

The Pilatus PC-24 is always a jet that grabs attention, and this year at EBACE is no exception. The ‘Super Versatile Jet’ – which is newly available for charter in Europe – sold out in its first delivery run of 84 aircraft after it was unveiled in 2013, with buyers drawn to the jet’s exceptional landing capabilities.

Now the Swiss manufacturer has reopened the order book, with the new run of the aircraft due to start deliveries from later this year.

Since the aircraft entered service last year, feedback from operators and owners has been very positive indeed. In addition to its superior landing performance (which means it can land on steep and even unpaved runways), it offers a versatile, spacious cabin with extra-wide door and excellent luggage space. We’re looking forward to more PC-24s becoming available in the charter market.

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