Business Aviation Market Intelligence

NBAA-BACE Rolls out of Orlando

NBAA-BACE Rolls out of Orlando

Traditionally the National Business Aviation Business Aviation Association’s Convention and Exhibition, NBAA-BACE, has alternated between Orlando, Florida, and Las Vegas, Nevada, as there are only two exhibition spaces big enough to hold the show in the US.

But a new deal will see the show move to Las Vegas for at least the next four years, much to the pleasure of many. That’s not to say that Orlando is without its charms, it is just that people tend to prefer Las Vegas.

So the last show in Orlando, for the time being at least, went ahead with the usual pomp and ceremony you’d expect. The halls were packed, the static display jammed, and everybody agreed that it was the best NBAA-BACE of recent years.

In the static display the show was notable for Gulfstream’s new G800 making its public debut, as well as Dassault’s Falcon 6X making its US debut.

Not satisfied with showing its G800 for the first time, Gulfstream also brought along two G700s.

Two seemed to be a theme, as Cirrus also took along two of its VisionJets.

Gulfstream G800
Dassault’s Falcon 6X

The G800 that Gulfstream displayed was the very first aircraft built, serial number 80001, complete with “Experimental” titles and a long boom sticking out of the front of the nose. It is the first of two test aircraft, and will essentially be used for air data calibration and reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) compliance. The two Gulfstream G700s will be used by Gulfstream on a world tour to visit customers and potential customers. The two aircraft will start from opposite sides of the world, and will visit countries in South America, Europe, Africa and Asia, as well as events in the Middle East including shows in Riyadh, Bahrain and Dubai.

Although most aircraft were a short coach ride away at Orlando Executive Airport, the convention halls held several advanced air mobility (AAM) electric take off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Hard to miss was the bright yellow Wisk Cora, it’s first generation eVTOL. For many it was the first time to be able to get up close and personal with the all-electric self-flying eVTOL, which Wisk had previously shown in Australia and the UK. The Cora sat as part of an AAM corner, which also included displays by fellow AAM companies Jaunt, and Overair.

Also on display was a cabin mockup from Supernal, who took the opportunity to demonstrate its vision of AAM by having its cabin-mockup as part of a flight simulator. The cabin mockup itself, whilst not necessarily representative of the finished version, was beautiful in its simplicity and designed to show just how simple an eVTOL’s interior could be, whilst the flight simulator took visitors on a trip around the New York skyline, hoping from building to building with ease and at a speed unheard of in the city.

Gulfstream G700

NBAA-BACE is of course a time that many companies tend to release their major news, with the Monday being littered with press conferences. This year, whilst there was a lot of news, there wasn’t much major news. Gulfstream announced that it would take its G700s on a world tour, and Honda released an updated HondaJet called the Elite II. Elsewhere, JetNet announced that it would be acquiring Asset Insight, FlyExclusive continued to make Textron happy with further Citation orders, and Web Manuals upgraded its app.

As always, the event was also host to a number of personalities, this year featuring astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Monica Barbaro – an actress that starred in the second Top Gun film – and NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt Jr. All three spoke separately on the mainstage in the convention halls about different topics. Later, Barbaro was given a quick tour of the static display before being whisked back off to Los Angeles on a chartered Cessna Citation X.

With the event drawing to a close, many drew comparisons between the event and the events that had taken place pre-pandemic. There were fewer people in attendance, but aside from the last day this was not noticeable. The halls were packed with exhibitors as they were before COVID-19, so the only real difference was the number of social events, which seemed lower than in previous years.

For some, NBAA-BACE being in Orlando was a great excuse to combine a business trip with a family holiday to Disney, whilst for others the event being in Orlando was a great excuse to miss the trip completely. So as NBAA-BACE waves goodbye to Orlando for the foreseeable future, it’s worth just remembering one thing: What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas.

Wisk Cora