Almost a century ago, Henry Ford launched his Model T as a car for the masses and subsequently produced 15 million automobiles over 19 years. Camilo Salomon, president and CEO of Safire Aircraft, does not fancy himself a Henry Ford, but he has high hopes that the company’s six-place Safire Jet will become the personal jet for masses of owner-flown operators.
Safire Aircraft selected the Williams FJ33, derated to 1,100 pounds thrust, to power the Florida company’s S-26 very light twinjet. Safire disclosed last August it was seeking an alternate supplier to its first choice, Agilis Engines, which has never manufactured an engine of its own design but over the past several years has been a supplier of engineering services to OEMs.
“There is no option. There will be no delays–it’s definite. We will fly the prototype of the Safire Jet before the end of September.” This is the promise made by Miguel Correa, chairman of Miami-based Safire Aircraft. With full assembly of the prototype of the very light twinjet scheduled to have started last month, Correa told AIN that the company has now shifted its attention to manufacturing.
Facing a serious financial crisis that threatens to force the company into bankruptcy, Safire Aircraft was evicted from its offices at Opa-Locka Airport in South Florida last month for failing to pay the rent after the would-be very-light-jet manufacturer fell three months behind in payments.
Camilo Salomon, president and CEO of Safire Aircraft, said he
has faced do-or-die situations before, but not in the aviation world, where, he says, every move he makes is examined by critics– qualified to judge or not. Having never worked in aviation before, he thought raising money to produce the company’s six-place twinjet would be easier.
Unable to pay its 100 or so employees, Safire Aircraft “temporarily suspended operations” early last month, expecting to resume operations after an influx of new financing, according to CEO and president Camilo Salomon.