The new Gulfstream 150 business jet remains on schedule to be officially rolled out at Israel Aircraft Industries on January 18, make its first flight in May, receive FAA certification in the first quarter of next year and enter service in the third quarter of next year. The 2,700-nm, $13.5 million jet is an upgraded G100 (itself the former Astra SPX).
Israel Aerospace Industries
Aviation Technology Group’s Javelin twinjet prototype completed its maiden flight from Denver Centennial Airport on September 30. At 7:50 a.m. MST, ATG operations v-p and chief test pilot Robert Fuschino lifted off from Runway 17L at Centennial and flew the very light jet prototype for 35 minutes.
Westport, Conn.-based Avocet Aircraft said it expects to make a “major announcement” at next month’s NBAA Convention on the progress of the ProJet very light jet contender.
Flight testing of the Gulfstream G150 S/N 201 is “proceeding as planned” at Israel Aircraft Industries’ (IAI) flight-test center at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. According to an IAI spokesman, at press time the midsize twinjet had logged 30 hours during eight flights, reaching a speed of 330 kcas/Mach 0.87 and 45,000 feet.
While business aircraft are one of the most important tools of investment bankers and venture capitalists, investing in new aircraft designs doesn’t appear to be on their radar this year. According to a report issued last month by the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), investors plan to increase their funding pools by about 10 percent over last year.
It appears that the ProJet, an Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI)-Avocet joint venture, doesn’t have much forward momentum. Westport, Conn.-based Avocet referred AIN’s inquiries about the twinjet program to IAI. Moshe Zilberman, IAI’s commercial air group marketing director, told AIN that the program “is in stagnation.”
The dawn of the very light jet (VLJ) is nearly upon us, with the first, the Eclipse 500, set to receive FAA certification in June. Hot on the heels of the Eclipse VLJ is Cessna’s Citation Mustang and 10 other potential competitors.
Avocet Aircraft last month joined the ranks of Safire Aircraft, Century Aerospace and plenty of other failed start-up aircraft manufacturers. The Westport, Conn. company has put its six-seat very light jet (VLJ), the $2 million ProJet, “on the shelf” and last month returned escrowed deposits–ranging any- where from $5,000 to $25,000 each–for some 100 aircraft.
Gulfstream’s newly outfitted G150 officially entered service last month in Dallas, coming in with longer legs and lower weight than the company had originally projected. In addition, the aircraft’s required balanced field length has been reduced by 830 feet from the initial estimate.
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