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Scott Ernest, CEO of Textron Aviation, who acquired Beechcraft earlier this year, told the WIBA gathering in Wichita last week that he was upbeat about the current state of the business.

“This is by far the best it’s felt in three years,” said Ernest, “I feel pretty good about how we’re progressing.” Continuing, he spoke about the merger of Beechcraft into the company and its Cessna business, “We’re pretty much done,” he said. “It’s amazing how quickly it’s been able to come together.”

He described how the merger of the businesses has not been difficult, citing one of the possibilities that many of the employees had worked at one or other of the companies at some point in their careers.

Mr Ernest is clearly proud of the company achievements and said, “It’s really a great opportunity to lead a company like this.” In particular, he noted that the Beechcraft acquisition gave Textron the special mission aircraft – King Air turboprops that can be utilised as air ambulance and surveillance aircraft both in the US and overseas.

Also discussed was the launch of the Scorpion tactical jet, which made an appearance at the Farnborough Airshow after a transatlantic flight earlier this year. The Scorpion is expected to be ordered by foreign countries first, with lower operating costs than those of its counterparts.

Other Business Aviation iPad App ProvidersBusiness aviation is taking even bigger steps towards a paperless cockpit environment with the introduction of iPad technology, with applications such as flight planning and information sharing capabilities. The weight reduction helps with fuel consumption and the streamlined operational benefits are almost limitless.

Jeppesen have recently upgraded their Mobile FliteDeck application in a bit to increase situational awareness and further simplify procedures for pilots with enhancements optimised for iOS 7, giving pilots and flight crew greater sharing options.

“The user-focused design of Jeppesen Mobile FliteDeck allows us to integrate key features and functions to improve workflow capabilities and access to critical information, based on individual pilot preferences,” said Tim Huegel, director, Jeppesen Aviation Portfolio Management. “Shared data between devices and improved enroute and weather data interaction increases situational awareness to improve the overall flying experience.”

Giving pilots the ability to access, file and make amendments to flight plans is also a big plus, particularly as part of the CDM initiative. Automation of routine tasks on the flight deck gives pilots greater situational awareness and enhances flight safety aspects.