Westchester County’s NBAA Biz Jet Show 2019
I was invited to attend the “NBAA White Plains Regional Forum” in White Plains, New York, on June 6th, 2019. I had no idea what this was. First I thought “NBA” = “National Basketball Association”. Maybe it was the NBA Draft in White Plains; Mmmmm, something at some hotel in town? I later found out it was being held at the White Plains Airport – Westchester County Airport (HPN) – and it was the Regional Exposition for the NBAA: the “National Business Aircraft Association”. OK, great, – its going to be a few “Company” jets and maybe 75 cars max. Then I got to HPN and it was like a gigantic air show! Numerous police cars were positioned to direct traffic off of I-684 into the HPN FBO side. All grassy areas on the FBO “Company” side of the airport were filled with cars as far as the eye could see – thousands, seriously. I thought I would have a mile to walk to get in. Somehow I ended up in a 6-lane Valet Parking entrance by mistake. I told the car parkers I needed to get out of here. – all I wanted to do was park my car! I told my plight to the “Valet Director”. He just wanted to get rid of me and said: “Here, Park Here!” It was right at the front gate to the Registration Tent! Sometimes you just luck out!!!
I got into the Registration Desk and my Free Pass was waiting for me. But this was no “Air Show” like what we know them to be. The Admission Registration Fee was something like $250 – $300 in advance. The Attendees were all “Suits”; the men mostly all had suits on with fancy shoes and open collars and no hats. The women all had fancy dresses on. This was the Fortune-500 Corporate Crowd. They were all representing the best corporations and CEO’s in the world and came here with a “License To Buy”, ready to look at the heavy metal on display and maybe even plunk down a check for $65 million for a new Corporate Gulfstream G650 for the Boss or at least for the firm.
After you entered your name on the Registration Computer, your “Flightline Pass” was printed and you slotted that into a plastic lanyard. Then you boarded a VIP Bus for a short ride to the Exhibition Flightline where half got off to check out the 40 or so Corporate airplanes, seaplanes and helicopters that were on exhibit on the west end of the closed Runway 11-29. HPN had closed off 2/3 of 11-29 for corporate aircraft exposition. Others stayed on the VIP Bus to go to the far end of the FBO Hangers to go to the new large “Million Air” FBO Hanger, a new large luxurious VIP FBO that matches the name, where many manufacturers and vendors of all sorts had set up their information and sales stands. There were also numerous meetings and technical seminars taking place at the Million Hanger. But if you wanted to buy a “Big ‘Ol Shinny Corporate Jet”, you really had to go to the 11-29 Flightline where the aircraft sales operations were taking place. (No, I did not buy anything!). Most of the planes had banners, palm trees, carpets, easy chairs and tables set up near the plane entrance doors. Many had salesmen and beautiful women at the plane doors. But these women were not like the the beautiful models you see at the Boat Shows. The men and women all were experts on their respective airplanes that they were selling and could tell you everything from interior layout alternate design options to highly technical performance and engineering specifications.
The NBAA Program Brochure had an unusual feature that you don’t see at traditional air shows: an exactly drawn exhibition ramp site plan drawing with perfectly drawn digital plane symbols drawn to exact scale to depict the plane shape and details of each aircraft on the ramp and its specific location. This was literally like an engineering drawing in detail shown. As I walked the Flightline and started taking notes for my plane list, I found the plane location diagram to be pretty accurate, except for couple of late additions to the lineup.
The 38 actual corporate aircraft on exhibit included the following in order of ramp placement. First on the line was: (1) a 2016 Textron Beechcraft G58 Baron twin-prop; (2) a 2018 TL-Ultralight SRO TL 2000 “Sting-S4”; (3) a 2014 Textron Beechcraft Super King Air 350i / B300 (350); (4) a 1997 Cessna 750 Citation X twin-jet (C750-0031); (5) a 2017 Dassault Falcon 2000 EX/LXS twin-jet; (6) a 2013 Bombardier Challenger 300 CL30 BD-100-1A10; (7) a 2014 Cessna Citation Excel 560XLS twin-jet (C56X); (8) a 2008 Hawker Beechcraft King Air B200GT;
(9) a 2018 Dassault Falcon Jet 2000EX; (10) a 2018 Textron Cessna Caravan (C208) Amphibian Float Plane single turboprop; (11) a 2017 Aviat Husky HUSK A-1C-180; (12). a 2018 Dassault Falcon Jet 8X (FA8X) 3-engine; (13) a 2018 Pilatus PC-12/47E (NG); (14) a 2019 Piper Meridian PA46-M500TP; (15) a Falcon Jet 6X Front Fuselage Mock-Up on a trailer mount; (16) a 2019 Compagnie Daher “Socata” TBM-910-1273; (17) a 2005 Dassault Falcon Jet 900 EX 3-engine.
Continuing down the line: (18) a Quest Kodiak 100 with cargo hold; (19) a Pilatus PC-24; (20) a red and white 2001 Dassault Falcon Jet 2000; (21) a 2019 Honda Jet HA-420 Elite; (22) a 2017 Textron Cessna 700 Citation Longitude; (23) a 2005 Agusta-Westland Leonardo Spa AB139 / AW139 Rotorcraft corporate helicopter; (24) a 2016 Textron Cessna 680A Citation Latitude; (25) a 2018 Cirrus SR-20; (26) a 2007 Gulfstream GV-SP (G550);
(27) a 2018 Cirrus SF-50 Vision with the single jet engine on top of the fuselage; (28) a 2018 Textron Cessna Citation CJ3+ (C25B); (29) a 2016 Embraer Legacy 450 (EMB-545); (30) a 2013 Sikorsky S-76D Rotorcraft (S76) corporate helicopter; (31) a 2019 Textron Beech King Air 350i; (32) a 2018 IAI Gulfstream G280; (33) a 2006 Cessna Citation CJ-1+ (525); (34) a 2019 Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300E; (35) a Gulfstream GVII-G600; (36) a 2018 Embraer SA EMB-550 Legacy 500; (37) a 2018 Gulfstream GVI / G650ER; and finally (38) a 2012 Agusta Westland AW 109SP GrandNew corporate helicopter.
I walked away from this show realizing that there are many variations of corporate jets, props and helos out their either as used or new aircraft to choose from. This is further verified when you start checking “N” numbers. There are also some different classification numbers and model numbers out there assigned to the same aircraft. But it was still a lot of fun and we hope we can attend another “Biz Jet” show in the future.
PhotoRecon Aviation Magazine wants to thank Dan Hubbard, SVP of Communications at NBAA and Sierra Grimes, Senior Manager for Registration at NBAA for giving this magazine a chance to see and report on what the corporate aviation world is all about. We certainly enjoyed it and hope we can come back again next year to the Corporate Air Show at the White Plains Airport! Thank you!