In The Works: AeroNimbus NMX

 - July 4, 2012, 2:15 AM

The AeroNimbus NMX is another entry in the very light jet market, from a Malaysian company that hopes to begin delivering a new jet in the first quarter of 2016. What makes the NMX different from established VLJs such as the Cessna Mustang or Embraer Phenom 100 is its multirole cabin, which can be switched from six-occupant seating in the business version to seven occupants for air-taxi or five plus patient in medevac configuration. The cabin entry door is positioned between the first and second seat rows, and the cabin can be reconfigured from one role to another in 30 minutes, aided by interior components mounted on seat tracks.

AeroNimbus CEO Y.C. Ma told AIN that the company has run a one-eighth-scale model in low- and high-speed wind tunnel tests. A prototype of the NMX has not yet been built, but Ma is projecting first flight in the fourth quarter of 2014. Certification is planned via Transport Canada, using that relationship to obtain FAA Part 23 certification “through Transport Canada’s bilateral airworthiness agreement with the FAA,” according to the company. AeroNimbus is also working with Montreal-based Marinvent on the certification program.

The NMX fuselage, wings and empennage will be made of conventional aluminum, with normal use of composites for fairings and the nose cone. Manufacturing will be outsourced to as yet unidentified vendors in Asia, according to Ma, with final assembly at AeroNimbus facilities in Malaysia. A second final-assembly facility is planned at a Middle East location in 2016. Ma said a core team of about 35 engineers and project planning/management staff are working on the NMX program. Certification and entry into service are planned for the first quarter of 2016.