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The Jet Business
PiperJet Altaire Mockup Debut
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Some folks are not deterred by history - and the history of the very light jet (VLJ) sector is enough to give anyone pause for thought. But Oregon-based Stratos Aircraft is pushing ahead with design of its single-engined Stratos 614, completing tests of a 1/5th-scale model in the University of Washington windtunnel.Video: StratosStartos says the tests, conducted with and without winglets, were successful, but further work will be required to refine the design of the wing-body fairing. The horizontal tail was not fitted for these tests.Launched in 2008 with a target price at that time of $2 million, the 4/5-seat Stratos is to be powered by a single 3,030lb-thrust Williams FJ44-3AP turbofan, and designed to cruise at over 400kt, climb to 41,000ft and fly for 1,500nm.Stratos is planning to have two prototypes flying within two years, but notes it is "still seeking investors". Let's hope it is luckier than other single-engine VLJ wannabes' like Cirrus, whose Vision SF50 prototype is stuck at Williams while the US State Department decides whether the FJ33 engine technology can be shared with Cirrus's Chinese owners. Diamond has struggled to find the funding to complete development of its single-engined D-Jet, but in June said it was restarting work after securing a significant investment. Piper is moving towards flying its single-jet Altaire next year.
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