A close-up on Paris (2)

One trade fair, four stories – check out the most interesting news stories and background information from the Paris Air Show every day. Taking place at Le Bourget Airport every two years, the event is the largest and most important air show in Europe and a must-attend for anyone in the industry. MTU hosts a 300-square-meter booth with numerous exhibits, and a hospitality chalet.

Large business jet market stabilizing

By 2019, 18 new and derivative business jets will enter the market, according to U.S. aviation industry analyst Brian Foley. “New products act as a sales catalyst, stimulating the market by giving customers a reason to buy,” he said. A key driver for the recovery of the business jet market, which had nosedived after the financial crisis in 2008, is the economic upswing in North America, which continues to be the most important market for these corporate jets. Demand is particularly high for large long-range business jets. In 2014, Bombardier posted a 13-percent growth as compared with 2013. The company is among the big players in this segment, holding a 34-percent share in the worldwide market. Yet the current development – as Theodor Pregler, Senior Vice President, Commercial Programs at MTU Aero Engines, sees it – is “a phase of stabilization rather than recovery.”

MTU booth: Virtual tour

PW300, PW500 and PW800 are the engine families produced by MTU’s partner Pratt & Whitney Canada. They power many of the older and, in particular, of the new large business jets. For Dassault, a company with a long-standing tradition, the Paris Air Show is home turf. With a share of around 40 percent the French airframer is the market leader in the high-end business jet segment, not least thanks to the popular Falcon family. The best-selling Falcon 7X, which has been on the market for ten years now, is in service with the Russian government, the Volkswagen Group and the royal family of Saudi Arabia, just to name a few customers. The stretched version of the trijet, the Falcon 8X, made its first flight in March. Both models are powered by PW307 engines, in which MTU has a stake of 15 percent.

The third of the leading business jet manufacturers is Gulfstream. At the Paris Air Show, the company will be showcasing its G650 and G450 models, but not the all-new G500. The latter made its first flight on May 20 powered by PW814 engines, which are part of the PurePower family like the highly successful geared turbofan engines. The aircraft had rolled out under its own power in late 2014 after years of development in secret. According to Pregler, the project had been kept firmly under wraps “because the company did not want to cut into its business with its existing line of products in a difficult market environment.” In contrast to the airliner business, it is not usual practice to disclose orders for business jets, most of which are privately owned. “But I think that Gulfstream will win some orders for the G500,” adds Pregler. “After all, certification is planned for 2016 and first deliveries can follow soon afterwards."