Wilson Air Center at Charlotte, N.C., was host to the largest Very Light Jet (VLJ) Exhibition in the U.S. in March, drawing more than 650 guests, eight aircraft manufacturers and numerous other related companies to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, said Vince Papke, Wilson Air Center-Charlotte general manager.
Aircraft manufacturers exhibited aircraft and mock ups to give “the first apples-to-apples comparison of specs and performance between the VLJ options all in one place,” Papke said.
Those attending got first hand looks at the Embraer Phenom 300, HondaJet, Diamond D-Jet, Spectrum S-33 Independence, Eclipse 500, Adam Aircraft’s A500 and A700, Cessna’s Mustang and CJ1+ and Epic Air’s Dynasty and Elite. Related suppliers and vendors included Garmin, Advocate, DTC DUAT, SatCom Direct, Hays Companies, Aircell and Riola Law, Papke said.
Jetpool, an aircraft management and sales company located in Charlotte, cosponsored the event with Bank of America. “Jetpool was excited to see such an amazing turnout,” said Ryan Stone, Jetpool CEO.
“With eight VLJ manufacturers under one roof, it was easy for buyers to find the right jet for their particular missions.”
The exhibition also served up a wealth of VLJ focused information through seminars on legal, tax, finance and insurance issues. “The expo and seminars were a great way to demonstrate the benefits of using a VLJ as an affordable, high performance business tool,” Stone said.
Manufacturers reported more than 50 potential aircraft sales, while other vendors also reported positive sales figures, Papke said. “Our ramp was full of aircraft that flew in from as far away as Florida, Texas and New York. All vendors expressed their desire to be part of the next VLJ show, which is planned for around the same time next year,” he said.
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