EADS Socata celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first flight of its TBM 700 with a new and larger display at the 56th EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., held July 28 to August 3. Two 2008 TBM 850s, equipped with Garmin G1000 integrated avionics and outfitted with a new-style cabin interior, are the centerpiece of Socata’s 10,000-sq-ft display. These aircraft will also carry the TBM 850’s new paint scheme.
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
Almost a year after first unveiling the deal, GE Aviation last month announced the completion of its acquisition of Prague, Czech Republic-based turboprop engine maker Walter Engines. The new GE division will operate as Walter Aircraft Engines.
Last year at EAA AirVenture Embraer announced the first flight of its Phenom 100 very light jet. While it wasn’t able to announce type certification at this year’s show in Oshkosh, Wis., the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer did say yesterday that the twinjet is nearing the finish line. So far, four flight-test Phenom 100s have logged more than 1,000 flight hours in the certification and maturity campaigns.
What a difference a year makes. At last year’s EAA AirVenture, Eclipse Aviation founder, president and CEO Vern Raburn made a dramatic entrance to the show aboard the Eclipse Concept Jet. At this year’s show, however, Raburn made a surprise exit, announcing yesterday that he was stepping down from the very light jet manufacturer.
Eclipse Aviation is back on the In the Works chart with the May launch of the EA-400 four-seat 330-knot single-engine jet. Although Eclipse has yet to make a formal application to the FAA for the EA-400 type certificate, the company has begun taking orders from existing Eclipse 500 buyers and opened the order book to new customers at the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh late last month. Price is $1.35 million (2008 $).
Duluth, Minn.-based Cirrus Design flew its jet, now called the Vision SJ50, for the first time on July 3. The Williams FJ33-4A-19-powered prototype, under the control of test pilot Tim Berg, lifted off from Duluth International Airport and flew for 45 minutes before landing back at the airport.
The company expected to bring the flying prototype to last month’s EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wis.
Bend, Ore.-based Stratos Aircraft yesterday revealed its intention to build an all-composite single-engine very light jet, dubbed the Stratos 714, with 1,500 nm range at 400 knots. Aerospace engineer Carsten Sundin and entrepreneur Michael Lamaire founded Stratos to build a four-seat jet with greater speed, range and weather capabilities than are currently available in this market segment.
Merritt Island, Fla.-based Comp Air is preparing its CA-9 prototype for first flight, three months after unveiling the all-composite turboprop single at the Sun 'n' Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. It plans to fly the new aircraft to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., later this month. The $1.6 million CA-9–a six-place, high-wing airplane with fixed gear–is expected to cruise at 250 knots and have a range of 2,200 nm.
Cirrus chairman and CEO Alan Klapmeier says he would like to have the company’s new single-engine (and yet-to-be-named) jet appear at this year’s EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wis., late this month, but he wouldn’t predict when the first flight will take place. Cirrus has placed an Aero Vodochody L-39 jet trainer into service as a chase plane for the flight, which will occur at Cirrus’s headquarters in Duluth, Minn.
Monument, Colo.-based Excel-Jet plans to bring the composite fuselage of its second Sport-Jet to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., next month and fly the new single-engine jet by the end of this year, according to company president Bob Bornhofen.