Business eXcess

Rex Stocks and Brian Turbofan report from this year's business aviation extravaganza in Disneyworld.

"It was an eXcellent show. No really, we mean it. Cessna unveiled its revamped Citation Excel, now called the XLS, while Bombardier came out with its Global XRS. What would all this "X" business mean, therefore, for Cessna's secret winglet-equipped Citation X? Presumably not the Citation XS? Sends the wrong message you see. After all, these jets are business tools, not playthings. Which reminds us that the Jungle Jets Legacy is proving particularly popular because its baggage hold can apparently carry more sets of golf clubs than anything in its class - see what we mean?

In other "X" - (well "Z", really) news it was revealed that the flow between the engine and wing of the Learjet 35 rushes along at the rather smart rate of Mach 1.6! Possums in charge of development of the faster Lear 35ZR say " terms of drag that's a Dame Edna."

XM Satellite Radio meanwhile baited scribblers to its press conference with offers of XM receivers for free trials if business cards were passed to the front. The resulting stampede by the shameless hacks confirmed this as the outright winner of the "best gizzit of the show" award.

The grand unveiling of the fab new eXchange "internet in the sky" comms thingy also came a bit unstuck when the curtain covering the brand new logo got snagged on the oversized letter "X" as it was being revealed. Several letters then detached as the curtain came down. "Oh XXXX," said the organisers.

...and in non X-related news

Refreshingly honest comments from Hot Rods on the interesting markets it has penetrated. "Yes we've done well in South America where we have a lot of King Airs - we even have a few on the law enforcement side!"

And finally Vern Raburn of Eclipse Aviation on the inevitable weight increase of the Eclipse 500 following its re-engining with heavier powerplants: "It's like everything with aircraft. Everything spirals up - they never spiral down. Well, except in really bad situations, that is...."

Source: Flight International