The flight-test program of the Grob Aerospace G180 SPn Utility Jet is progressing well, officials at the German manufacturer said last month at a briefing at the Grob headquarters near Munich. Attendees could also see the prototype fly. The SPn was unveiled at the Paris Air Show this summer.
Executive Jet Investments (EJI), the Swiss-based group of investors that has had a 50-percent stake in the Grob SPn Utility light business jet, has now acquired a controlling stake in the German manufacturer for an undisclosed sum. Grob will also not disclose the exact size of EJI’s holding, so it is not clear how large a stake the Grob family might have retained.
Certification of the seven-seat Grob G160 Ranger turboprop single has been delayed from this quarter to the middle of next year to incorporate a new interior design and aerodynamic refinements. These changes stem from flight-test results gathered since the prototype G160’s first flight in March last year.
The Grob SPn 10-passenger light business jet made its maiden flight July 20 from Allgau Airport in southern Germany. The aircraft was aloft for 66 minutes, during which time it performed handling and basic systems tests. Under tight wraps until its introduction at the Paris Air Show, the $7.1 million light jet continues flying and Grob expects first deliveries in the second quarter of 2007.
The Grob SPn Utility Jet’s flight-test program has been progressing well since the twinjet made its first flight last July 20, according to a company spokesman. As of early last month, German-based Grob had already verified the twinjet’s flight characteristics throughout the full c.g. envelope.
Grob Aerospace recently announced significant enhancements to its G180 SPn light jet. Besides coming standard with an enhanced version of the Honeywell Apex avionics system, the twinjet can be configured with a new six-seat executive interior, which includes a full lavatory and galley. Further new options include an auxiliary power unit and an enhanced-vision system.
It might have the look and feel of an oversized luxury automobile in the cabin, but it is all airplane. “We were asked to make the passenger feel as if he or she were in a large, luxury SUV, such as the Porsche Cayenne or the BMW X5,” said Franck Burnet, CEO of Burnet Interiors, which was contracted by Grob Aerospace of Germany to build the cabin mockup of the aircraft manufacturer’s new SPn utility jet.
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