Aviation novels and novelists are rare. Even more rare are aviation novelists who are also corporate pilots and fighter pilots.
From time to time Rocky and I entertain friends. Generally, as a 14-year-old golden retriever, he shows a lot of enthusiasm when someone first arrives but before long he ends up lying on his back in his semi-comatose, tongue hanging out, nap mode with his paws twitching in response to dreams of birds long ago retrieved. This time was different.
Eckhaus Leasing Group, a sister company of vehicle fleet company Eckhaus Fleet, yesterday placed an order for 250 Millennium Aerospace Foxjet II very light jets. The company expects to take delivery of 50 aircraft per year for five years, beginning in 2010 after planned FAA certification late next year. Millennium says the contract is worth $437.5 million, which would put the price of each Foxjet II at $1.75 million.
Tony Fox, the 84-year-old entrepreneur credited by those with long memories as being the father of the very light jet, this week sold the 1970s-era Foxjet design to start-up Millennium Aerospace of California. “My dream is to see the Foxjet flying during my lifetime…I’ve talked with 50 or 60 different prospective buyers recently, and I was convinced Millennium Aerospace has what it takes to get the Foxjet airborne,” said Fox.