Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS) of St. Paul, Minn., has received a $600,000 grant from NASA to develop a whole-airplane parachute system for very light jets. The company has identified eight aircraft in various stages of development that could become a market for the product and has agreements to work with three possible manufacturers of jets in the 5,000- to 8,000-lb-mtow, 350-kt-cruise-speed category.
Cessna Citation Mustang
With certification of the first of the very light jets (VLJs) somewhere on the horizon, manufacturers and interior designers are giving considerable attention to the challenge of creating a big-jet environment in a small-jet cabin.
Currently, about half a dozen companies are working on VLJs, all of them borrowing to some extent from the field of automotive design and fabrication.
Operators who have ordered a Citation Mustang very light jet don’t have to wait for an aircraft or a simulator to familiarize themselves with the aircraft’s avionics, the Garmin G1000 integrated EFIS.
The new breed of very light jets (VLJs) now under development could turn out to be the biggest catalyst for business aviation growth since Bill Lear’s halcyon days in Wichita. But with cost, reliability and ease of use foremost in the minds of VLJ developers, the digital cockpit systems in these pintsize business jets of tomorrow will be unlike anything most pilots have seen.
We’re now in year two of the great “onslaught” of the very light jet, and soon these small two- and one-engine turbine-powered airplanes will be “darkening the skies” and “clogging up traffic” at airports all over the world, if some predictions are to be believed.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released its third-quarter shipment and billings report, showing good news for business aviation OEMs that already have record backlogs. As the industry adapts to a market where for the first time, more aircraft orders come from outside the U.S.
Personal jets, mini-jets, ultra-light jets, very light jets. The category has many names and now many contenders. But no company has yet brought a very light business jet to certification and production. Several programs that have been displayed over the years at past NBAA conventions, such as the Alberta Phoenix FanJet and Century Aerospace Century Jet, are now “on the shelf” and may stay there forever.
Cessna Aircraft last month unveiled the Citation XLS, a faster and longer-legged derivative of the Citation Excel with a price tag of $9.895 million and described as “a logical step up for customers moving up from smaller light jets.”
Following the same successful road map that has served the company since its founding in 1989, Garmin International has secured a milestone contract to supply the integrated avionics system aboard Cessna’s newest business twinjet, the $2.3 million Citation Mustang.
Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW610F turbofan engine will power the Eclipse 500, the two companies announced on February 19, ending nearly three months of speculation about how Eclipse would get the program moving again after it terminated its agreement with Williams to use the EJ22 engine.