What We’re Looking Forward to for 2018 | Flying Magazine

What We’re Looking Forward to for 2018

Here are some airplane projects to keep an eye on this year.

Another year has passed, and, by all measures, 2017 provided a lot of terrific aviation news as seen in our Top 25 Aviation Stories of 2017. But there is a lot of exciting development going on this year, too. Here are some new airplanes that we are looking forward to hearing more about.

Bend, Oregon-based Epic Aircraft has been hard at work getting the final certification paperwork on its E1000 single-engine turboprop. While there are dozens of experimental Epics flying, the certification has presented a larger hurdle than expected. But now the final conforming prototype is flying and the company expects to get FAA certification in the next few months.

cessna denali

The Cessna Denali is expected to take its first flight some time in 2018.

Textron Aviation

Another exciting single-engine turboprop that is expected to enter the market soon is Cessna’s Denali. The airplane will be powered by GE’s new Advanced Turboprop engine, the first clean-sheet turboprop engine to be developed in more than 30 years, according to GE. The company recently completed the first run of this progressive engine at its facility in Prague, Czech Republic. Textron Aviation expects the Cessna Denali to take its first flight some time this year.

PC-24 Super Versatile Jet Matterhorn

The Pilatus PC-24 Super Versatile Jet Matterhorn.

Pilatus

Pilatus Aircraft achieved certification for its PC-24 Super Versatile Jet just before the year end, and the company is expected to make its first delivery out of Stans, Switzerland very soon. That airplane will be flown to Pilatus’ facility in Broomfield, Colorado to be handed over to the American fractional ownership company PlaneSense. PlaneSense claims to have the world’s largest fleet of Pilatus PC-12s, the company’s highly successful single-engine turboprop. We look forward to the market introduction of the PC-24, which is the first bizjet to be approved for unimproved runways.

Gulfstream G500

Gulfstream's G500 (pictured) and G600 are expected to enter the market in 2018.

Gulfstream

While Gulfstream didn’t quite achieve its goal of certifying the G500 luxury bizjet by the end of 2017, the coveted paperwork is expected soon. It will be exciting to see how it and its larger sibling, the G600, which is also expected to enter the market this year, will fare against the competition.

There has been a new focus on supersonic airplanes and we look forward to seeing progress by companies such as Aerion, Boom, and Lockheed Martin toward bringing new, commercially viable supersonic airplanes to the market. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for more news in this space. The world could soon become a lot smaller for all of us!

As aviation journalists, we sometime get a preview of what is going to be announced in the near future. We have already scooped some information from our insiders to learn about a new, exciting airplane development that will be announced very soon. For now our lips must remain sealed about any details of this project, but stay tuned!

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