This year, the NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition opens its doors on October 22 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The three-day event presents an opportunity to network with the industry’s leading experts, innovators and key aviation contacts from around the world. It will feature over 1000 exhibitors displayed across 1 million square feet of floor space and nearly 100 aircraft, from business jets to rotorcraft, on static display.
Here, BAI rounds up all the event’s news, product releases, service announcements and aircraft launches, so you can arrive to the show informed and up-to-date.
This year’s outdoor aircraft display will feature business aircraft for all missions, from single-engine piston models to large intercontinental business jets and even the latest rotorcraft. At the indoor section of the display, smaller piston singles, light turboprop aircraft and other helicopters will be featured.
Attendees can expect to see all of the major international OEMs including Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Honda Aircraft, Pilatus, Dassault Falcon and Gulfstream with an appearance from Tecnam, with many of the companies expected to make some exciting announcements.
Swiss aircraft manufacturer Pilatus is attending NBAA-BACE to unveil its PC-24 with a forward galley designed to provide additional storage space for coffee, ice, beverages and catering at this year’s show. Pilatus is also working on a retrofit option allowing the lavatory to be placed in the rear of the cabin.
Elsewhere, Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) and Airbus Corporate Helicopters (ACH) will be jointly exhibiting an ACJ319 and ACH145. The ACH145 at the show will feature a bespoke, locally made corporate interior and a full-scale model cabin of the ACH145 helicopter with a Mercedes Benz interior will be on display too.
Also showcasing at the event is Vahana Alpha Two, one of the two electric vertical take-off and landing technology demonstrators being developed inside the Airbus company. Vahana Alpha One recently completed its 114th test flight in Pendleton, Oregon, proving the viability of the concept of self-piloted air taxis. To see Vahana, visit the Innovation Area in Hall D.
Across the three-day event, Gulfstream will showcase its fleet of aircraft and a selection of customer-centric digital design tools. The Gulfstream static display will feature the Gulfstream G500, G600, G650ER, G550 and G280.
With so many new industry innovations and emerging technologies redefining the future of air transport, it is no surprise that innovation is the topic of conversation this year and many companies are expected to launch new, innovative products.
Intuitive flight operations system Schedaero, part of the Avinode Group, will be launching a new app, enabling pilots and crew members to manage and complete vital operational tasks whilst traveling.
Following extensive beta testing and successful integrations with selected members, the crew app is now available to all Schedaero users. Key features include the ability to view new missions; access full trip sheets; check passenger information; complete flight and duty logging; and see pull-up directions and amenities for FBOs.
Boston-based open technology platform for the private aviation industry, Tuvoli has also launched with a mission to make leading-edge technology more accessible to a broader segment of the air charter industry.
Charter brokers and operators can buy or sell flights, from the office or on the go, 24/7, 365 days a year, complete with real-time payment functionality.
“The entire industry is being held back by a lack of direct connectivity to each other, including the ability to pay or be paid, any time, at rates that make sense; that was the driving force behind Directional Aviation’s incubation of Tuvoli,” said Kenneth Ricci, principal, Directional Aviation. “Tuvoli pairs technology, modern methods of payment processing and charter industry intelligence on one clean platform, to unlock growth potential for private aviation companies of all sizes.”
Another exciting launch expected at NBAA-BACE is the world’s first commercially available passive millimeter wave (PMMW) Enhanced Flight Vision System (EFVS), providing a significant visual advantage to pilots that is measured in miles, rather than feet.
Advanced imaging technology company Vū Systems has established a strategic alliance with Saab to deliver the new product that enables pilots to take-off and land in zero-visibility environments; achieving Equivalent Visual Operations (EVO) at distances of two miles and more, while improving safety and reducing environmental impact.
The Saab-Vū EFVS fully complies with US FAA regulations introduced in March 2018, FAR 91-176, to enable aircraft equipped with qualified sensors, such as PMMW, to be granted permission to take-off and land in zero-visibility conditions. It is the only EFVS sensor to give pilots the qualifying level of sight required.
Vū Systems will also be launching Vū Cube, the world’s first passive millimeter wave (PMMW) sensor for aviation, set to significantly reduce delays and increase airport capacity by giving pilots unparalleled visibility in adverse weather conditions.
The Vū Cube sensor is the only product on the market that uses PMMW technology to allow pilots to see through heavy clouds and thick fog at two miles or more; enabling continuous and reliable take-off and landings in extreme low-visibility weather, including zero-zero conditions.
Web Manuals, the global leader in digital documentation for aviation, is returning to this year’s NBAA-BACE with a 35% customer increase after experiencing rapid expansion of its US client base, with a 17% increase in stateside customers since the beginning of 2019, to launch a major software update to its regulatory compliance package, making it easier than ever before for business aviation companies to go digital.
The update, called Web Manuals 8, promotes compatibility with a much wider range of devices than previously served, including smartphones, as well as the provision of real-time regulatory change notifications on top of a completely new user-experience.
Web Manuals 8 offers a unified, multi-language experience across all devices and platforms, including smartphones and offline support via the Chrome browser. The software provides real-time updates on regulation changes, so users can make sure they are always prepared for the next flight. The system’s rapid authoring, reviewing, publishing and distributing tools also provide significant time and cost savings.
Web Manuals is exhibiting on Booth N5870 at NBAA 2019 and live demonstrations of the updated software are available.
Elsewhere at the show, Southern California FBO Luxivair SBD will be exhibiting with EPIC Fuels in Booth #N6110 at the event and hopes to teach visitors about the FBO’s upgraded technology and equipment and MRO partners.
The FBO, which has seen double-digit growth in ramp activity, recently added zero- and low-emissions vehicles and ground support equipment.
Recently acquired ground support equipment, which is compliant with stringent emission standards, includes electric-powered aircraft tugs, Tier-4 ground support equipment, a propane-powered forklift, and new Tier-4 10,000-gallon fuel trucks.
Engine program provider, Engine Assurance Program (EAP) will be returning to NBAA-BACE for the fourth year with a new addition to the team. Engine expert Jim Wilson has joined EAP as regional sales manager. He previously worked for Williams International as program director, after market programs. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge of aircraft engines and engine maintenance programs. He will be based in Michigan and report to Marco Cardenas, EAP sales director.
Keynotes not to miss
Setting the tone for this year’s conference on day one will be Earvin “Magic” Johnson, who has successfully parlayed his skills and tenacity from the court into the business world as Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE).
On day two, Eric Allison, head of Uber Elevate will discuss being at the forefront of aerospace research, development and manufacturing advances in electric propulsion, energy storage, vehicle autonomy, and composite structures.
Also on day two, be sure not to miss Yves Rossy, the first man in the history of aviation to fly with a jet-propelled wing, will give a thought-provoking talk at the Day 2 Keynote, taking place October 23.
Rossy, a Swiss military-trained pilot with both fighter jet and passenger airliner experience, is the inventor of a series of experimental individual jet packs, which he has flown over several locations such as the Grand Canyon and the Alps mountain range.
The jet packs use a carbon-fiber wing with four miniature jet engines and his own body as control surfaces and has a top speed of more than 150 knots. It took him more than two decades to develop what is today known as the Jet-Wing. “We are delighted to have ‘Jetman’ Yves Rossy speak at NBAA-BACE,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “His talk is sure to thrill and inspire attendees about possibilities for the future of flight. The ability to fly is one of the most fundamental human aspirations, and we’re looking forward to hearing Rossy’s motivational stories.”
Other key speakers include Steuart Walton, the founder and chairman of Game Composites, a company that designs and builds small composite aircraft and Major General Jeannie M. Leavitt, the Commander, Air Force Recruiting Service, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas.