Sino Swearingen plans to resume flight testing the SJ30-2 early this month with the second conforming prototype (S/N 3), followed within the next 90 days by S/N 4. Flight testing came to an abrupt and tragic halt on April 26 when the only conforming prototype (S/N 2) crashed during flutter tests, killing pilot Carroll Beeler.
The developer of the single-turboprop pusher Jetcruzer 500 gave holders of its Class A and B warrants an additional month to convert their warrants, purchased five years ago when Long Beach, Calif.-based AASI held its initial public offering, to common stock. AASI’s stock, which was offered at $5 per share in December 1996, has been trading well under $1 for more than a year (at press time it was trading at about 25 cents). Said Dr.
As expected, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court last month signed an order approving the sale of Mooney Aircraft Corp. to AASI of Long Beach, Calif. AASI officials also disclosed that they intend to change AASI’s name to Mooney Aerospace Group and will operate the renamed Mooney Airplane Co. as a subsidiary.
This year and last were not kind to the startup airplane manufacturers, those OEM wannabes that are–or in some cases were–attempting to grab the brass ring of success by riding on the wings of their first turbine-powered airplanes. It takes hundreds of millions of dollars to run the new-aircraft triathlon of development, certification and production.
Less than a month after Carl Chen, former chairman, president and CEO of AASI, suddenly replaced Jack Braly as president and CEO of Sino Swearingen, the company hired Gene Comfort as v-p of sales and marketing. Comfort worked for Chen as executive v-p and general manager at AASI. Sino Swearingen’s SJ30-2 business jet development program has suffered many delays since its inception more than a decade ago.
Last year’s dot-com nosedive has taken its toll on the startup companies planning to build new business aircraft and seeking ever more elusive investor funding. Notably, Century Aerospace in June indefinitely shelved its plans to build the entry-level six-place, twin-turbofan Century Jet.
Dr. Carl Chen, former chairman, president and CEO of AASI, suddenly replaced Jack Braly less than a week after the NBAA Convention last month as president and CEO of Sino Swearingen, developer of the long-delayed SJ30-2 business jet.
Roy Norris resigned his position as president and CEO of Mooney Aerospace Group and chairman of its board of directors on August 20, saying that the company is now on solid ground and that his position there had always been “temporary.”
Although it’s unlikely to become the Wal-Mart of general aviation, the newly created Mooney Aerospace Group (MAG) has announced a price rollback. Roy Norris, who on January 8 became chairman, CEO and president of Long Beach, Calif.-based Advanced Aerodynamics and Structures Inc.
Advanced Aerodynamics and Structures Inc. (AASI) of Long Beach, Calif., last month took the first step in changing itself from a struggling startup airplane manufacturer toward becoming, in the words of Roy Norris, AASI’s new chairman, CEO and president, “the biggest lower-end general aviation company in the world.”
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