Paris Air Show

Flaris LAR 1 VLJ To Be Powered by Williams FJ33-5A

 - June 18, 2015, 4:30 AM
Poland’s Flaris very light jet (VLJ) will be powered by a 1,700-pound-thrust Williams FJ33-5A. The single-engine, five-seat VLJ made its world debut at the Paris Air Show in 2013. (Photo: David McIntosh)

Podgórzyn, Poland-based Flaris (Static B6) has selected the Williams FJ33-5A to power its LAR 1 five-seat single-engine very light jet, the company announced this week here in Paris. The LAR 1 prototype, unveiled at Paris 2013, was originally fitted with a 1,460-pound thrust Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F, but project director Rafał Ładziński told AIN that the aircraft required an engine that could produce at least 1,506 pounds of thrust.

To meet this requirement, Flaris had been considering the P&WC PW615 and an engine from French firm Price Induction before settling on the Williams turbofan. The FJ33-5A was originally developed for the now-shelved Diamond D-Jet, also a single-engine jet design, and produces about 1,700 pounds of thrust, according to U.S.-based Williams International.

Ładziński said engineers included provisions to accommodate other powerplants, making an engine switch “fairly easy.” With the new engine, target performance specifications are mostly unchanged: 820-foot/250-meter takeoff distance from a grass field, 380-knot/700-km/h top cruise speed, 62-knot/115-km/h stall speed, 1,543-pound/700-kg empty weight and 3,300-pound/1,500-kg mtow. It has lowered the certified ceiling from 46,000 feet to 28,000 feet and bumped up the maximum range from 1,350 nm/2,500 km to 1,700 nm/3,200 km.

The $1.5 million (in 2013 dollars) all-composite jet sports several unique features: a nose-mounted ballistic parachute; wide rear-opening pilot and copilot doors; detachable wings and horizontal stabilizers, for easier storage; a fuselage-mounted fuel tank, because no fuel can be held in the detachable wings; and electric deice system. It will also have a dual Garmin G600 avionics system.

Flaris said its parent company, Metal-Master, is self-funding the project using cash flow. Metal-Master is an established company that makes assembly-line production tooling for truck manufacturers such as Scania, Volvo, Saab and Man. While it has extensive experience in working with metals, Flaris is Metal-Master’s first foray into composites.

After the Paris Air Show closes this week, Flaris plans to resume taxi tests using the new engine as it prepares for first flight by year-end. The company still expects to receive FAA and EASA type certification for the LAR 1 in 2017.