Avocet ProJet’s Wings Clipped

 - January 8, 2007, 6:06 AM

Westport, Conn.-based Avocet Aircraft has canceled its program to develop a $2 million, six-seat very light jet known as the ProJet. “It just wasn’t the right time to be going forward with the program,” Avocet chairman and founder Carey Wolchok told AIN. Avocet and Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) publicly announced their collaboration on the ProJet in August 2003, with certification then expected by 2007. Six months later the two companies jointly decided to seek a third party, an “established OEM,” to perform final assembly of the ProJet in the U.S. and provide product support. It was widely believed that IAI and Avocet held talks with Raytheon Aircraft to take on this role, but no such deal was ever struck. IAI refused to advance the program without this third partner, and late last year officials from the Israeli company said the program was “in stagnation,” the first sign the project was in trouble. Wolchok said he still owns the rights to the ProJet and “would consider selling the intellectual property.”