Epic’s Elite VLJ made its maiden flight on June 7 from Redmond, Ore.’s Roberts Field. Performance projections for the Elite, which is powered by two Williams International FJ33-4 turbofans, include 410-knot maximum speed, 1,600-nm range with reserves at economy cruise and 1,330-pound payload with full fuel. Construction of the six- to eight-seat jet is all carbon fiber; avionics are Garmin’s G900X system.
Early adopters who plunked down $100,000 for a position on the Cirrus jet assembly line got to participate in a clever Cirrus marketing campaign that is drip-feeding tantalizing details about the jet.
Twelve people, including company president Bob Bornhofen, continue to work on the Sport-Jet single-engine jet program based in Colorado Springs, Colo. The first Sport-Jet prototype logged nearly 25 hours before crashing on takeoff on June 22 last year.
Like its non-turbine siblings–the DA40 Diamond Star and DA42 Twin Star–the Diamond D-Jet will feature a Garmin G1000 integrated avionics suite, Olathe, Kan.-based Garmin said yesterday. As such, Diamond’s very light jet single will have a three-panel G1000 flight-deck system with two primary flight displays and a multifunction display.
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.
Tbilisi Aircraft Manufacturing (TAM) of Tbilisi, Georgia, in the CIS, in early January terminated its agreement with Maverick Jets of Melbourne, Fla., to certify and manufacture the Maverick Jets Leader, a twin-engine, kit-built very light jet. As recently as the Dubai Air Show in early December, TAM displayed a photograph of the Leader and included it in its sales material. Dr.
Safire Aircraft has selected Keith Products to supply the air conditioning for its very light jet, which is currently under development. The vapor-cycle system will be standard equipment on the six-place twinjet. Miami-based Safire also named Barry Controls to provide vibration isolators and mounting structure for the airplane’s two Williams International FJ33 turbofans.
Safire Aircraft said the price of its new six-place, twin-turbofan Safire Jet will increase to $1.495 million for new orders placed after the prototype flies later this year. The current price is $1.395 million. The aircraft, scheduled for certification in early 2006, will be powered by two Williams International FJ33-4A11s rated at 1,100 pounds of thrust each.
The single-engine, four/five-passenger Sport-Jet is the latest aircraft to join the very light jet race. The aircraft is under development by Excel-Jet of Monument, Colo., whose president is Bob Bornhofen, designer of the Maverick Leader kitbuilt jet. Bornhofen, who is not associated with Maverick Jets of Melbourne, Fla., told AIN that he hopes to have the first preproduction Sport-Jet prototype in the air by the end of the year.
Englewood, Colo.-based Aviation Technology Group announced last month it had selected Albuquerque, N.M., as the manufacturing site for the two-seat, Williams FJ33-powered Javelin. The selection followed the approval by the New Mexico Investment Council of a “significant investment” in ATG at a meeting on January 20. The state’s Private Equity Committee had earlier recommended the investment to the council.