Cirrus Design will officially launch its single-engine CirrusJet this month at the NBAA Convention in Orlando. In a promotional mailing sent out this week, Cirrus said the very light jet will be able to cruise at more than 300 ktas, fly more than 1,000 nm and have a service ceiling of 25,000 feet.
Very light jets
On Saturday, Eclipse Aviation received FAA type certification for the Eclipse 500, nine months later than originally planned when the company announced in early 2003 that it would have to modify the design due to switching from the Williams EJ22 turbofan to the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F.
The market for very light jets (VLJs) will be worth $2.52 billion over the next five years, according to a new study by UK-based consultants PMI Media. The report predicts six VLJ designs making it into service: the Adam A700, Cessna Citation Mustang, Diamond D-Jet, Eclipse 500, Embraer Phenom 100 and HondaJet.
The good news is that the single-engine Diamond D-Jet is getting a parachute recovery system from St. Paul, Minn.-based Ballistic Recovery Systems. But the bad news is that Diamond has raised the aircraft’s price from less than $1 million to $1.36 million, nudging the $1.5 million tag for the Eclipse 500 very light twinjet. The increase is due to the manufacturer including previously optional items as standard equipment.
A federal judge in Albuquerque, N.M., Friday denied Aviace’s plea for preliminary injunction against Eclipse Aviation as part of the Swiss firm’s lawsuit alleging Eclipse violated a March 2002 sales contract. The suit accused Eclipse of wrongly canceling the order for Aviace’s first Eclipse 500 and declaring the initial deposit on that aircraft forfeited.
Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation, was flanked by some 200 company employees this afternoon at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., to announce provisional FAA certification for the Eclipse 500. “We have proved all the naysayers wrong,” he said. This marks the first agency approval for a very light jet, though the current certification is with “significantly reduced avionics functionality,” according to Raburn.
Embraer has selected Eaton Corp. to design, develop and manufacture secondary power distribution units and cockpit control panels for the Phenom 100 very light jet. Eaton has already won contracts for the Phenom’s hydraulic power-generation package, flap and landing gear control hydraulic components, throttle quadrant, landing gear control level and flap selector control lever.
Just because an airplane swings a propeller doesn’t mean it can’t be a VLJ. That was the theme Rick Schrameck, chairman and CEO of Aircraft Investor Resources (AIR), emphasized while introducing the single-engine turboprop Epic Dynasty, currently in development, here at the NBAA Convention on Monday.
SATSair, the Greenville, N.C. air taxi startup, announced yesterday it has signed a $45 million deal with Cirrus Design Corp. (Booth No. 2957) to add 50 new Cirrus SR22 piston single-engine aircraft to its fleet, with an option to purchase 50 more.
Drop by the Cirrus booth (No. 2957) and check out the shadow of the Cirrus SR22 on display there. It’s a subtle hint of a shape to come: a new very light jet from Cirrus.