Tussenhausen, Germany-based Grob-Werke made an unexpected announcement yesterday at the Paris Air Show, revealing that it had designed and built an all-composite light business jet that it plans to fly next month. The 13,889-pound-mtow SPn Utility Jet will seat up to nine passengers and have an approach speed of around 100 knots, balanced field length of 3,000 feet and a landing distance (ISA, sl, mlw) of 2,950 feet.
The FAA on Friday granted type certification to Cessna’s Model 525 Citation CJ1+, keeping the program on schedule and bringing the aircraft one step closer to customer deliveries, which are expected to begin in the fourth quarter. The $4.1 million CJ1+ offers more performance, new Collins Pro Line 21 integrated avionics, enhanced cabin features and expanded standard equipment compared with the CJ1.
The first business jet from Grob Aerospace made its maiden flight yesterday. With former Diamond Aircraft test pilot Gérard Guillaumaud in the left seat and Tore Reimers as the copilot, the SPn Utility Jet took off at 11:14 a.m. from Allgäu Airport in southern Germany. The main objective of the 66-minute first hop was to test system functionality and evaluate the aircraft’s handling characteristics.
Garrett Piedmont Hawthorne is now installing Rockwell Collins avionics upgrades for Citation 501s, including the Williams International FJ44-powered (Eagle II) Citation 501s. Supplemental type certification has been completed for the optional three-LCD system and an STC is in works for the standard two-display system.
The flight-test program of the Grob Aerospace G180 SPn Utility Jet is progressing well, company officials said yesterday during a briefing at its Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany headquarters. Attendees also got the chance to see the prototype fly. Between its maiden flight on July 20 and September 7, the airplane has logged some 24 sorties for a total of 23 flight hours.
Elliott Aviation of Moline, Ill., has authorization to do full line service and maintenance on the Williams-Rolls FJ44-1A/2C and -2A turbofans used on the Cessna CitationJet and Beechcraft Premier I, respectively.
“The Williams-Rolls authorization is one more step in our continued efforts to provide additional value to our customers,” said company president Wynn Elliott.
Known as the Model 311 Capricorn by its builder, and the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer by its pilot and sponsor, Burt Rutan’s latest creation took to the sky on March 5–the first step in its creators’ goal of seeing the single-jet, single-seat aircraft circle the globe nonstop on one load of fuel. With Scaled project engineer and test pilot Jon Karkow at the controls, the initial flight lasted 1 hour 30 minutes.
Grob Aerospace resumed the SPn flight-test program on February 23, with acting chief test pilot Tore Reimers and flight-test engineer Alan Lawless taking to the air in prototype number one. The next prototype, number three, should fly in the second quarter, followed early this fall by number four, the first fully conforming SPn.
The first flight-worthy Williams FJ44-3AP engine for the prototype PiperJet has arrived at Piper Aircraft’s factory in Vero Beach, Fla. Engineers are still fine-tuning the design, and wind-tunnel testing continues while technicians manufacture tooling for the prototype. Three to five prototypes will be built.
Cessna received FAA type certification of its Model 525, the CJ2+, bringing the light jet another step closer to customer deliveries scheduled to start in the second quarter of next year. The CJ2+, announced at the 2004 NBAA Convention, is an upgraded CJ2, featuring Williams International FJ44-3A-24 turbofan engines and greater payload capability, higher maximum cruise speed, more range and improved runway performance than its successor.