An agreement for German investors to take over the trainer aircraft business of the insolvent Grob Aerospace group might have cleared the way for a separate deal to resurrect the SPn light business jet program. On January 28, Grob’s insolvency administrator, Dr.
The Grob SPn is delayed indefinitely, due to Grob Aerospace’s having declared insolvency on August 18 in Germany. Grob is working on options to bring the SPn to certification, but so far the company has announced no plan. Grob has orders for more than 100 SPns.
Grob Aerospace, which last month at EBACE in Geneva showcased its six-passenger fuselage mockup of the Grob SPn light business jet with a new cabin interior from the Porsche Design Studio, said that it had firm orders for more than 60 SPns, equivalent to the first two years’ production. European certification is expected in April, with U.S. certification to follow three months later.
Selected by Grob to design and engineer the cabins for both the new SPn Utility Jet and the G-160 Ranger, Germany’s Rücker Aerospace could draw on the experience of its Spanish parent, which is a center of excellence for automotive styling and design.
The Grob SPn light business jet will feature an enhanced Apex cockpit, provided by Honeywell. Grob Aerospace had planned on using an earlier version of Apex but will offer the enhanced one right from the first customer delivery. This has affected the program schedule, however.
Executive Jet Investments (EJI)–a small group of largely anonymous Swiss private investors–has completed an acquisition of a majority stake in German airframer Grob for an undisclosed amount of money. The Grob family has retained a “not insignificant” minority holding, but EJI effectively has full control of the company and now runs it through a new Zurich-based holding company called Grob Aerospace AG.
Grob, the German company that is developing the versatile, all-composite SPn light jet, has created a U.S. support network for the airplane and is about to establish a U.S. subsidiary to handle direct sales. Two prototypes are now in flight-test and construction of a third started last month. That airplane will join the final push for certification early next year.
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.