Grob Light Jet Progressing in Flight-envelope Expansion
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. The all-composite light twinjet was flown at its predicted stall speed, “which indicates that we still have margin,” test pilot Gérard Guillaumaud told AIN. Flight-envelope testing should be completed in the fourth quarter. JAA certification of the G180 is pegged for the first quarter of 2007, with deliveries of the $7.1 million light jet following in the second quarter. A 50-50 joint program between Grob and charter operator Execujet, the Williams FJ44-3A-powered G180 claims to be a “utility” twinjet optimized for short, unprepared field performance. Both partners remained tight-lipped about the number of orders received.