Imagine being a new aircraft manufacturer and having Gene Cernan and Bob Hoover check out your airplane in one day. It happened yesterday to Jim McCotter, president and CEO of Maverick Jets, at the Maverick booth (No. 3915) when the astronaut and the aerobatic pilot each tried out the pilot’s seat of the mockup of the sleek personal jet (there’s an airplane at Static Display No. 21, also). According to McCotter, Cernan “fell in love with the Maverick.”
NBAA Convention News caught Hoover at the booth and found that not only is he on the order book but he’s on the board of directors of Maverick and an advisor to the company. Hoover said, “As you know, I’m very careful about lending my name to any enterprise, but I’m privileged to be on the list. I visited the team, looked over the jet, flew it and tested it. I found out how delightful the plane is to fly. On landing, I visited with Jim and told him it had the most docile handling qualities of just about any airplane I’ve flown.”
He continued, “As I got acquainted with Jim and the staff, I was so impressed with their plans and desire to make it the most successful airplane on the market. When Jim asked me to become a member of his very successful team, I had no hesitation about accepting that responsibility because of my impressions from having evaluated the Maverick.”
When we asked how Hoover would be using his airplane, McCotter said, “We hope he’ll be flying every day all over the world demonstrating the airplane,” and Hoover said simultaneously, “Nothing but fun!”
McCotter, who owns a number of media companies, bought Maverick a year and a half ago. He said, “It looked as if it would be a lot of fun, and I wanted a jet like this, so I bought it,” he said adding that he had “made massive changes to the jet; I don’t know what else we can do to make it better.”
With two MC-750 turbojets with 750 lb thrust, the Maverick cruises at 350 kt with a range of 1,700 nm. Rate of climb is 3,000 fpm and stall speed at gross weight is 78 kt. Takeoff distance is 2,200 ft and landing distance is 1,990 ft. Empty weight is 2,900 lb, gross weight, 5,800 lb. The jet is 28.5 ft long, 9 ft high and has a wingspan of 33.25 ft.
The five-place jet was certified under FAR Part 23.191. McCotter said that it is being built in Melbourne, Fla., and the company has assembly centers in other plants around the world. Spain is one, he noted, and two were just shipped to the factory in Tblisk, Georgia, that used to build one MiG fighter a day. The airplane is composite carbon fiber Nomex–“state of the art,” said McCotter, “lightweight and sound-absorbing.”
McCotter said that he has delivered about a dozen airplanes with “a lot more orders that will be fulfilled this year. Production is set at five a month now, and Maverick is gearing up to double that number.
Cost is $750,000 (“What else could you buy for that?” Hoover asked), and McCotter said that as a show special he is offering to finance half of that amount, should the purchaser desire.