As of the middle of last month, the Adam A500 piston twin had logged more than 110 developmental flight-test hours on some 60 flights. (The M309, the A500 proof-of-concept airplane, flew about 300 hr before being retired.) Said flight-test pilot and lead powerplant engineer Glenn Maben, “This accounts for about 30 percent of the tests we plan to perform on serial number one [the first example built on production tooling].
Adam Aircraft is getting closer to the major milestone of FAA certification of the A700 very light jet and last month reported receiving its first Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) from the FAA. This TIA allows FAA pilots to fly the A700 for the flight tests needed for credit during the final stages of certification.
Adam Aircraft’s $2.25 million A700 very light jet took a step closer to FAA certification on Friday when the agency issued Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) for the Williams FJ33-powered airplane. The TIA allows the A700 program to enter the phase where FAA representatives are authorized to begin flight testing the twinjet for certification credit. FAA certification is planned for the second half of next year.
Diamond’s second single-engine D-Jet made its first flight on September 14 in London, Ontario. This D-Jet incorporates aerodynamic improvements derived from flight testing of the first D-Jet and is also production-conforming. Three more D-Jets in the final configuration are under construction, and certification flight testing should begin shortly.
“From our point of view it’s not as big a jump from piston aircraft to a jet as you might think,” Alan Klapmeier, chairman, CEO and cofounder of Cirrus Designs, told AIN.
Miami-based Safire Aircraft announced in late April that it would not build the in-development all-composite S-26 very light jet it had announced in February 1999. Instead the company plans to develop the Safire Jet, a larger, all-aluminum design that it claims will be 50 knots faster (380 knots) than the S-26 and have 250 nm more range (1,150 nm NBAA IFR), while still having comparable operating costs.
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.
For the very elite, a BBJ could be considered a personal jet. But for most owner-pilots, the term “personal jet” conjures up visions of something considerably smaller, perhaps even fighter-like. Interestingly, George Bye’s vision of a personal jet grew out of a course in advanced aerodynamics he taught to budding fighter pilots at Sheppard AFB in the 1980s. “The Javelin is the fighter we used in the course,” he told AIN.
Cessna Citation CJ4
The Citation CJ4 takes the single-pilot CitationJet into a higher-performance realm while retaining the signature characteristics of what used to be Cessna’s entry-level jet series. The CJ4’s new features should make it easier to fly and maintain than other members of the Citation line.
The Epic Elite made its public debut at EAA AirVenture this summer after achieving its first flight on June 7. Planned for certification at a price of $2.2 million, the six- to eight-seat jet is powered by two Williams FJ33-4s.