After 10 years in development, Sino Swearingen is now building the first customer SJ30-2 business jet, S/N 005, at the company’s 87,500-sq-ft Martinsburg, W. Va. factory. The completed aircraft is scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of next year, nine months after the Williams-powered jet is anticipated to receive its type certification.
Sino Swearingen SJ30-2
This year and last were not kind to the startup airplane manufacturers, those OEM wannabes that are–or in some cases were–attempting to grab the brass ring of success by riding on the wings of their first turbine-powered airplanes. It takes hundreds of millions of dollars to run the new-aircraft triathlon of development, certification and production.
Investors from the United Arab Emirates are trying to purchase a majority share of financially troubled would-be jet manufacturer Sino Swearingen Aircraft, according to a news report published by Taiwan’s Central News Agency. However, the buyout plan might be subject to Taiwanese government approval following a planned presentation
UK-based Action Aviation serves as a distributor for the Sino Swearingen SJ30 light business jet–in fact, it is the exclusive worldwide distributor and soon-to-be majority stakeholder in the manufacturer, if an agreement between the two companies goes through as planned.
The second of three conforming Sino-Swearingen SJ30-2 light jets joined the flight-test program on October 17. Although Sino Swearingen has yet to officially revise the certification target date again, it’s clear now that it won’t happen until next year at the soonest because the company doesn’t plan to add its third conforming aircraft to the flight-test program for several more months.
Production activity at San Antonio-based jet developer Sino Swearingen Aircraft has not yet picked up since the company announced at the NBAA Convention that it has secured new investors. Owned primarily by the Taiwanese government, Sino Swearingen has delivered just two SJ30s since the airplane received FAA type certification two years ago; the latest delivery occurred at the NBAA show in Atlanta in September.
The Sino Swearingen SJ30-2 that crashed on April 26 was not equipped with a spin recovery chute, nor was it required to be. In addition, to date there are no reports that use of such a chute would have changed the outcome of the accident, in which the pilot was killed. The FAA requires chutes on aircraft during some certification flight tests, but the accident occurred during a company flight test.
New investors are acquiring control of Sino Swearingen Aircraft and finalizing plans to resume production of the SJ30-2 business twinjet.
Sino Swearingen Aircraft is poised to leave the financial holding pattern it has been in while the Tawainese government sought to sell its majority stake in the company over the past year or so. This afternoon, Action Aviation Investors (AAI) came forward as the new suitor, saying it will make a “major capital investment and acquire a controlling interest” in the San Antonio-based aircraft manufacturer.
Recent news reports from Taiwan suggesting that the Taiwanese government is unwilling to continue funding Sino Swearingen Aircraft’s SJ30 program are not accurate, according to Hamish Harding, chairman of the UK’s Action Aviation, which has 159 SJ30s on order.