Real-estate developer plans to resurrect vantage

 - November 2, 2007, 10:23 AM

Matt Eller, an Ames, Iowa real-estate developer, acquired the intellectual property of bankrupt VisionAire on October 2 for $441,000 and, under company name Eviation, plans to certify and produce the single-turbine Vantage very light jet. He told AIN he has engaged Vantage designer Burt Rutan and former VisionAire engineers Tom Stark and Don Spencer as consultants, and expects to have Scaled Composites finish the original Vantage design. He then plans to employ another company with composite-aircraft production experience, such as Grob-Werke of Germany, to certify and build the Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-5-powered Vantage. Eller said he would begin raising investment money “as soon as I have answers to the questions I know investors will ask,” including development costs and certification timetable. He estimates the price of the Eviation Vantage will be $2 million to $2.5 million, as much as or more than some of the very light twinjets in development.