Chichester-Miles Consultants of Hertfordshire, England, “is financially in balance,” said founder and chairman Ian Chichester-Miles. He also said he has “made some advance in obtaining financing” to develop the Williams FJ33-powered Leopard Six, but is bound by a confidentiality agreement about this financing until, possibly, the end of this year. As AIN spoke with him, he was about to leave for the Paris Air Show, although CMC did not exhibit there. The four-seat Leopard prototype has not flown since last year, he said.
CMC announced the six-seat, 6,800-pound-mtow Leopard Six in March 2001, after Williams International agreed to give the exclusive rights of its FJX2 engine (redesignated the EJ22) to Eclipse Aviation for the Eclipse 500. CMC had planned to use the FJX2 in its four-seat Leopard. Eclipse terminated this agreement in November last year, but Chichester-Miles said he plans to stick with the Leopard Six and the FJ33. Despite the proliferation of competing very light jets, he said, “I believe there will always be a market for performance–speed, altitude and range.”