The engineering company Ghenova has carried out a study to identify the possible business opportunities for the development and manufacture by the Andalusian aeronautical industry of a business jet. The start-up of this programme would result in a significant increase in technological and industrial development in the region and a turnover of more than 3 billion euros over the next 20 years The Andalusian aeronautical industry knows no limits and is on the lookout for new horizons and future challenges.
The engineering company Ghenova recently carried out a study to analyse the viability of the development and manufacture of a business jet in Andalusia. According to its conclusions, the model proposed offers major business opportunities: a small, light aircraft with a capacity of 6 passengers, ease of handling and manoeuvrability and the ability to fly in different atmospheric conditions, both by day and by night. The study by this Andalusian company, which was commissioned by the Andalusian Agency for Innovation and Development (IDEA) and the Andalusian Technological Corporation (CTA), highlights that a programme of this nature would offer considerable qualitative and quantitative advances. In fact, in absolute terms and without considering after-sales earnings, the programme would generate a turnover of more than 3 billion euros over the next 20 years. In qualitative terms, the project also offers advances in technological profitability and acquired knowledge.
On the one hand, it would result in increased technological and industrial development for companies in the Andalusian aeronautical sector, generating knowledge with high added value and serving as a platform for the consolidation of multidisciplinary aeronautical engineering with extensive scope for development. At a business level, the initiative would bring together Andalusian companies in the sector to assume future technological challenges, assuring the long-term maintenance of the aerospace industry network and further promoting Andalusia’s major potential in this sector.
The study carried out by Ghenova constitutes a starting point to determine the real possibilities presented by this new market segment, which in recent years has grown considerably in countries such as the USA and which offers a new means of expansion by Andalusian companies. Its development requires an initial phase of international marketing and preliminary development characterised by a low level of investment, as the precursor to a programme of major investments to complete the development cycle.
The study includes a market analysis, definition of the target product, an analysis of industrialisation in Andalusia, and last of all, a basic business plan to determine the viability of the proposal.
Ghenova is fully aware of the challenges posed by this initiative not only due to the current context of global economic crisis and unpredictable market behaviour but also due to the significance of the conclusions, which point to major potential benefits for the Andalusian aeronautical industry. The project has analysed the competition posed by firmly established business jet manufacturers, as well as new proposals being developed and initiatives which are still on the drawing board, as is the case of the Andalusian project.
According to the market analysis carried out, the increase in personal buying power over the last decade (mainly in North America) and the increasing deficiencies of regular commercial aviation services have fostered the emergence of a major demand for personalised air transport services.
The introduction of “Very Light Jets” with low acquisition and operation costs has facilitated access by these new customers to air charter operations and private and fractional aircraft ownership. The report highlights that the launch of a development and manufacture programme for a light business jet would provide a means of entry into the executive aviation market, which in 2009 had a turnover of 20 billion dollars (around 15 billion euros). While this market is dominated by a limited number of companies based mainly in the US, the introduction of an aircraft of this nature would signify less risk compared to other larger aircraft. Currently these Very Light Jets have a price tag ranging from 2.8 million dollars (2.1 million euros) to 3.6 million dollars (2.7 million euros).
The model considered in the study by Ghenova has a price which covers the associated costs, at around 2.2 million dollars (1.6 million euros), with potential sales of around 1,200 aircraft over the next two decades. The Andalusian model The aircraft proposed consists of a business jet with two pilots and four passengers which is approved for single-pilot operation in any atmospheric conditions (day/night) and which is equipped for instrument flight (IFR) and visual flight (VFR).
The model proposed would also have airworthiness certification for Europe (CS23) and the United States (FAR Part 23). Other features of the Andalusian business jet include a range with 5 passengers of 800 nautical miles, a cruising speed of 350 knots, a cabin volume of less than 200 cubic feet, a maximum take-off weight of 6,000 pounds (2.72 tonnes), an empty weight of 3,600 pounds (1.63 tonnes) and a maximum payload of 1,100 pounds (500 kg). It is designed to have a take-off and landing distance of less than 2,500 feet, and it is powered by two high-bypass turbofan engines with low fuel consumption, a minimum required thrust of 1,900 pounds (860 kg) for take-off at sea level and fuel consumption of around 0.76 lb/lb-hr. With this initiative, Ghenova consolidates its status as one of the leading engineering firms in the Spanish aeronautical sector.
The company is currently working on the belly fairing of the A350 and carries out other tasks such as certification and service support for the panels and systems of the belly fairing for the A380. It is also in the midst of an international strategy which focuses on Central Europe, the USA, Brazil and Southeast Asia. International sales currently account for 50% of its total turnover, with the aeronautical sector representing 25%.
The company, which has a staff of 300 employees, has its central headquarters in Seville and other sites in Ferrol, Río de Janeiro (Brazil) and Berlin (Germany). In Berlin it has established a German subsidiary, Ghenova Engineering Germany, which has its AÜG licence to enable provision of its services in the facilities of its customers.