It wasn’t immediately clear how the Grob SPn light business jet program will be affected by yesterday’s crash of the second prototype near the company’s airfield in Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany, killing chief test pilot Gerard Guillaumaud, 45, the sole occupant. The Williams FJ44-powered aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff while returning to the runway and was destroyed. It first flew September 29 and had logged 28 flight hours.
Grob is developing a new high-altitude long-endurance aircraft based on the new SPn Utility Jet. Dubbed the G600 HALE, the aircraft could be used on surveillance or research tasks operating at extremely high altitudes. With a 116.80-foot wingspan, the basic G600 will have a range of 5,540 nm and an endurance of some 17 hours. However, an ER variant of the G600 would extend the endurance to 18 hours 30 minutes.
Structural failure appears to have caused the fatal crash of the second Grob SPn prototype light jet near the company airfield in Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany, on November 29. Grob Aerospace CEO Niall Olver told AIN that the elevators and left-hand stabilizer separated from the aircraft before impact and were found “several hundred feet” behind the main wreckage. “We know they separated,” said Olver, “but we don’t know why.”
The Grob SPn light business jet will feature an enhanced Apex cockpit, provided by Honeywell. Grob Aerospace had planned on using an earlier version of Apex but will offer the enhanced one right from the first customer delivery. This has affected the program schedule, however.
Executive Jet Investments (EJI)–a small group of largely anonymous Swiss private investors–has completed an acquisition of a majority stake in German airframer Grob for an undisclosed amount of money. The Grob family has retained a “not insignificant” minority holding, but EJI effectively has full control of the company and now runs it through a new Zurich-based holding company called Grob Aerospace AG.
Executive Jet Investments (EJI), a Swiss investment firm led by Execujet CEO Niall Olver, has acquired a controlling stake in German-based manufacturer Grob Aerospace. The Grob family holds the remaining shares, although officials declined to disclose the exact percentage of shares owned by each entity. EJI is simultaneously renamed Grob Aerospace AG.
Grob, the German company that is developing the versatile, all-composite SPn light jet, has created a U.S. support network for the airplane and is about to establish a U.S. subsidiary to handle direct sales. Two prototypes are now in flight-test and construction of a third started last month. That airplane will join the final push for certification early next year.
Less than a year from its planned service entry next September, the all-composite Grob SPn light jet is preparing to make a serious push on the North American marketplace with new sales and product support initiatives being announced this week.
The flight-test program of the Grob Aerospace G180 SPn Utility Jet is progressing well, officials at the German manufacturer said last month at a briefing at the Grob headquarters near Munich. Attendees could also see the prototype fly. The SPn was unveiled at the Paris Air Show this summer.
Executive Jet Investments (EJI), the Swiss-based group of investors that has had a 50-percent stake in the Grob SPn Utility light business jet, has now acquired a controlling stake in the German manufacturer for an undisclosed sum. Grob will also not disclose the exact size of EJI’s holding, so it is not clear how large a stake the Grob family might have retained.