Excel-Jet Expects Second Sport-Jet To Fly by Year-end

 - June 17, 2008, 11:12 AM

Monument, Colo.-based Excel-Jet plans to bring the composite fuselage of its second Sport-Jet to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., next month and fly the new single-engine jet by the end of this year, according to company president Bob Bornhofen. The first Sport-Jet crashed in June 2006 during takeoff after logging about 25 flight hours, and Excel-Jet has filed a lawsuit against the FAA, claiming that wake turbulence from a departing Dash 8-200 caused the accident. Bornhofen said he couldn’t comment about the lawsuit. The second Sport-Jet has a four-inches-wider cabin and a fuselage 1.5 inches longer than the first and a more powerful, 2,100-pound-thrust Williams FJ33 engine. The four-place jet will take advantage of the extra space and feature a more corporate-focused interior. Airframe weight will rise by 10 percent and thrust by 40 percent, improving climb performance but not changing the originally targeted 375-knot maximum cruise speed. The certification process should start once the second jet takes flight, he said, but “we’ll be selling experimentals for a while. The investor community is a little bit gun-shy given some recent events.”