Aerostar Jet Makes Oshkosh Debut

 - July 26, 2011, 10:20 AM

Aerostar Aircraft has flown its long-awaited jet version of the Aerostar piston twin to Oshkosh. The prototype aircraft features twin underwing-mounted, Fadec-controlled Pratt & Whitney Canada PW615Fs that propel the aircraft at 400 knots at 20,000 feet. Aerostar president Steve Speer said the aircraft’s altitude is currently limited because it is not equipped with an RVSM-compliant altimeter, though plans call for the aircraft to have a ceiling of 35,000 feet eventually. He is confident that the fuselage could withstand the higher pressurization loads at this altitude. “The main thing we have to do is go to dual-pane windows,” Speer noted. Max takeoff weight is 6,050 pounds, and Speer said the range goal is 1,100 nm. He said no price has been set for the twinjet, which the company envisions as a “new production” airplane, though he did not discount the possibility of doing retrofits. According to Speer, the company is currently seeking capital to place the jet into production, which he estimates would cost $50 million. “This is a proven airframe and is a lot less expensive to get into production.”