Sino Slips on SJ30 Production Ramp-up
On Friday, Taiwanese-backed Sino Swearingen furloughed 100 production-line workers at its San Antonio final assembly plant for the SJ30 light jet, as well as 30 at its subassembly manufacturing facility in Martinsburg, W. Va. V-p of sales and marketing Bob Kromer told AIN that the “temporary” layoffs are due to hiring getting ahead of current SJ30 production capabilities. The 2,500-nm, $6.195 million twinjet received FAA type certification last October, but Sino Swearingen has yet to obtain a production certificate, which would allow mass production of the twinjet. “The big issue right now is getting the tooling online so we can get aircraft out the door in quantity,” Kromer said. Without production tooling, workers are forced to hand-build each aircraft for individual FAA inspection and signoff. The first customer aircraft (S/N 006) recently came off the line and is now flying. It is scheduled to be delivered in October to Doug Jaffe, one of the original investors in the program and the “J” in SJ30. Sino Swearingen hopes to start mass-producing airplanes early next year. Kromer said there are orders for 302 SJ30s.