The Jet Set Moves Forward
It’s always a bit mind-boggling when Cessna finds ways to improve the most popular line of jets in the world, but once again, that’s exactly what it has done. A new and improved Model 525 Citation CJ1+ has earned FAA certification and is headed to a runway near you before the year’s end.
The single-pilot CJ1+ cruises 20 knots faster and shaves half an hour off the time to climb to FL410, thanks to two new Williams FJ44-1AP dual-channel FADEC-controlled engines. The new plus version also offers 80 pounds more useful load.
The expanded standard equipment includes the Collins Pro Line 21 avionics package. For more information, contact the Cessna Aircraft Company at (800) 4-CESSNA or log on to www.cessna.com.
Cessna’s entry in the very light jet (VLJ) category, the Mustang, is throttled up for flight testing, hoping to best contenders Eclipse 500 and Adam 700 (see the article “VLJs Turn Short Final” on page 46) in the race for certification later next year. But the hands-down winner for sex appeal could very well go to that of the Aviation Technology Group (ATG). The two-seat, twin-engine Javelin Jet has multiple personalities—one as a homeland defense military patrol aircraft, and the other as the top choice for pilots who want to fly a fighter. Company engineers already are running ground tests with the Javelin’s Williams International FJ33-4-15M, running them to full power. The aircraft already has performed its initial taxi tests with flying colors. Expect the Javelin to be on your six in late 2007. For more information, call ATG at (303) 799-4197 or log on to www.avtechgroup.com.
In the meantime, you don’t have to go to Area 51 to see a secret jet in testing. Residents of North Carolina have watched the secret HondaJet coming and going from the Greensboro Airport since December 2003. Now, the VLJ contender finally came out of the closet at this year’s EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., showing off its dual Honda HF-118 engines, natural laminar flow wing and advanced lightweight all-composite fuselage. For more info, contact Honda Motor Co., Ltd., at +81-(0) 3-3423-1111 or log on to http://world.honda.com.
And who knew that sailplane makers could get turbine envy? Germany-based glider manufacturer Grob revealed its intentions to launch a new bizjet, the Grob SPn Utility Jet. According to the company, the new single-pilot jet will combine “the performance and passenger comfort of a light business jet with the operational versatility of a turboprop.” The Grob jet will feature an all-composite airframe, with two FADEC-controlled FJ44-3A turbofan engines. Performance projections include a balanced field length of 3,000 feet, an 1,800 nm range with six passengers on board and a max payload of 2,491 pounds. Grob expects FAA certification by the second quarter of 2007. For updates, e-mail Grob at email@example.com or log on to www.grob-spn.com.
The Commander Flies Again
A group of more than 50 Commander aircraft owners have recently made a bold and unprecedented move: They bought all of the failed aircraft manufacturer’s assets in the hopes of continuing airframe production plus support for parts and service. They’re calling the newly formed company Commander Premier Aircraft Corporation (CPAC).
“This is the first time that I’ve seen a group of product owners actually commit to buy the assets of a defunct company and reestablish operations to produce the product they love,” says Bob Tippens, a director at CPAC. The company expects to be in operation by early 2006. Call CPAC at (860) 678-7800 or log on to www.commanderair.com for more information about this new company.
|Top Cub Ranger|
|BLR Aerospace's winglet and performance kit on a Beechcraft King Air B200|
Cub Crafters, the re-creators of the original Piper Cub, is celebrating its 25th year in business with the introduction of the new Top Cub. The two-seat taildragger is certified to FAR 23 specs. A Lycoming 180 is up front, with a healthy cargo section in the back. It’s available in three configurations: Ranger, Legend and Amphib. Contact Cub Crafters at (509) 248-9491 or click on www.cub crafters.com.
More Ready-To-Fly LSAs
The Evektor SportStar and Flight Design CT were given the special light sport aircraft (S-LSA) nod at this year’s Sun ’n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla., and the list of FAA-approved light sport aircraft (LSA) just keeps growing. IndUS Aviation’s Jabiru 3300-powered Thorpedo T211, an evolution of the design by the legendary John Thorp, has been given the official go-ahead. IndUS also is planning to release a smaller 85 hp, four-cylinder S-LSA follow-on called the T11 Sky Skooter in the future. For more info, call IndUS Aviation at (214) 337-6387 or log on to www.indusav.com.
Also joining the pack is the new StingSport, manufactured by Czech Republic-based TL Ultralight, sro. This carbon-composite S-LSA has an internally mounted ballistic parachute aircraft recovery system and removable wings for easy transport and storage. Contact TL Ultralight’s North American distributor SportairUSA, LC at (866) FLY-STING or log on to www.sportair-usa.com.
Other new opportunities include two entries from Spectrum Aircraft (www.spectrum aircraft.com), the Aeroprakt A-20 Vista Cruiser and A-22 Varlet. Filling out the list is the Nexaer LS1 (www.sportsplanes.com), and Cub Crafters’ Sport Cub (www.cubcrafters.com). To see a complete listing of all S-LSA-certified aircraft, log on to the EAA’s Sport Pilot Website at www.sportpilot.org.
BLR Launches Another Winner
BLR Aerospace is putting the finishing touches on a winglet and performance kit for the Beechcraft King Air B200. The winglets lower the actual Vmc for larger safety margins on takeoff and lower lift speeds during short-field operations. Additionally, the modification improves high-altitude stability and increases cruise efficiency. The company already is offering performance-enhancing winglets for the Beechcraft Duke (see the article “301 Knots!” in the July/August 2005 issue). For more, contact BLR at (800) 257-4847 or visit www.blrvgs.com.
IndUS Aviation Thorpedo T211
|Op Technologies Integrated
|Mid-Continent Lifesaver Gyro|
The Integrated Flight Deck
Op Technologies’ soon-to-be-certified Pegasus Integrated Avionics System (IAS) is a flight-deck solution for retrofit and OEM aircraft. According to the company, the IAS will eliminate the hassles of a radio stack and traditional instrumentation—all by just combining 10.4-inch high-resolution, sunlight-readable display units with remotely mounted air-data computers, AHRS, and communication and navigation radios. For more information, contact Op Technologies at (503) 690-0800, www.optechnologies.com.
Get An Attitude
Mid-Continent’s Lifesaver Gyro is now available through Sun Aviation Inc. It provides up to one hour of emergency attitude reference, even if every other system on the avionics panel fails, as well as a 7,500-hour service life and anti-reflective glass and internal emergency lighting that enhance visibility. Call Sun Aviation Inc. at (816) 358-4925 or visit www.sunav.com.
Fish Or Fly
If you’re considering going into manufacturing handheld GPSs to compete with Garmin, be advised. The Olathe, Kan.-based company just announced a new GPSmap 396, which displays XM Weather via satellite. The newest wunderbox also features terrain alerts, a built-in obstacle database as well as METARs, TAFs and TFRs. Pilots can now overlay XM Weather data right on top of the moving-map picture. And if all of that doesn’t entertain you, the new GPSmap 396 also will bring you 130-plus channels of XM Satellite Radio. Plus toggle a button, and the aviation navigator will slip into either automotive or marine mode to talk you through getting to your hotel or your favorite fishing hole. For more, call Garmin at (913) 397-8200 or visit www.garmin.com.