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Bahrain 2012: Wallan's school for pilots flies high in Saudi

Posted 21 January 2012 · Add Comment

In the eight months since it opened, Wallan Flying School, based at Thumamah Airport near Riyadh, has trained 40 pilots – despite not advertising at all.

Cessna CJ1+Captain Saad Wallan, chairman of Wallan Aviation, believes that there is real potential for flight training in the kingdom, as people become wealthier and can afford to learn to fly and buy aircraft.

He said: “There are 27 airports in Saudi Arabia and we are buying more aircraft.”

At the moment the school has eight Cessna 172s and will acquire more Skycatchers in the next few months.” Wallan Aviation is the exclusive distributor for Cessna aircraft in the Middle East and has several aircraft out on the static: a 172, a Citation CJ1+, a Citation CJ4 and a Grand Caravan.

Wallan, himself, is a Citation X pilot and said: “As a pilot I am qualified to advise people on what aircraft they should buy – the range and cabin size and where to go for maintenance.”

Wallan also offers maintenance services at its Thumamah base.

The US company’s latest flagship, the Citation Ten prototype, made its first flight earlier this week. According to Cessna, the flight lasted more than two hours and included tests of stability and control.

Cessna said that Federal Aviation Administration type certification is on track for mid-2013, with first aircraft deliveries planned for the second half of 2013.

The Ten has a maximum range of 3,242nm (6,008km), putting city pairings such as New York-London, Boston-San Francisco, London-Dubai and Miami-Seattle within convenient one-hop flights.

The Ten is 15 inches longer than the Citation X, providing extra passenger legroom in the forward club seating area. The jet also features Clairity, Cessna’s proprietary cabin management system, based on the Lumin software developed by Texas-headquartered Heads-Up technologies.

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