Gulfstream’s largest and longest-range business jet, the G700, made its first flight Feb. 14. By the end of October, five test aircraft were flying. Certification is planned for 2022.
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Canada’s Longview Aviation Services flew the first CL-215 amphibian upgraded to the CL-415EAF Enhanced Aerial Firefighter, on March 10. Bridger Aerospace received the first of six aircraft in April.
Dornier Seawings’ prototype New Generation Seastar amphibious aircraft made its 31-min. first flight from Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, on March 28.
Aerion Supersonic in April selected Melbourne, Florida, for a $300 million production facility for the AS2 supersonic business jet. First flight is now planned for 2025.
Textron Aviation’s Cessna Model 408 SkyCourier twin-turboprop utility aircraft made its first flight on May 17. By October, three test aircraft were flying. Certification is expected in 2021.
Epic Aircraft began deliveries of its E1000 all-composite single-engine turboprop in May. It received production certification in July after it was awarded FAA type certification in 2019.
Embraer delivered its first Phenom 300E light jet in June, six months after launching the upgrade to increase speed and range, update the flight-deck avionics and enhance the cabin.
Stratos Aircraft flew the all-composite Stratos 716X for the first time on July 10. The six-seat very-light jet is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney JT15D-5 turbofan.
Textron Aviation received FAA certification for the upgraded Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER in October and delivered the first aircraft in November. Upgrades include autothrottle and reduced cabin altitude.
With seating reduced to six from eight and other changes intended to lower the price and make it competitive with other light jets, Bombardier’s Learjet 75 Liberty entered service in October.
The business and general aviation market was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but 2020 saw several first-flight and delivery milestones.
Graham leads Aviation Week's coverage of technology, focusing on engineering and technology across the aerospace industry, with a special focus on identifying technologies of strategic importance to aviation, aerospace and defense.