Very Light Jets

Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet Finally FAA Certified

More than nine years ago, the second article I ever wrote on AviationBull was about the Cirrus Jet. As reported by AvWeb, the dream of a single engine Very Light Jet (VLJ) is finally becoming a reality.

Second PC-24 Flies

Before we get started, I have to admit that I'm a big fan of Pilatus aircraft. Though it may appear otherwise, I, sadly, won't get paid a dime to write any of this.

That said, I'm very happy to report that the second PC-24 prototype just completed its first flight. What, you haven't heard about the PC-24? I can't fault you - Pilatus hasn't been as vocal about it as they could. I don't think they need to though. The PC-24 starts with the capabilities and credibility that Pilatus built with the PC-12 and takes them to the next step in a logical progression. This isn't just an incremental improvement like next year's iPhone though. The PC-24 is a revolution in both the idea of utility business aviation and small jet capability.

Wind Tunnel Time for Stratos

They haven't posted the press release on their website yet, but Stratos Aircraft just announced that they are another step closer to giving customers this much legroom in an aircraft that will hopefully be able to take 4 people 1500 miles at 400 knots.

They've raised enough funds to build a 1/8 scale model of their aircraft for wind tunnel testing to verify the computational fluid dynamics analysis that they've already done on their design.

First Flight of Fully-Conforming HondaJet

We've all been drooling over the HondaJet for some time. Honda did a great job of capturing our attention by surprising us with a polished-looking, fully functional aircraft that included some interesting new design features.

Although the prototype HondaJet looked great from a distance, I'm told it wasn't perfect up close. It definitely didn't conform to FAA standards for production Very Light Jets. Having gained a lot of knowledge from their prototype, Honda built a fully-conforming version and proudly announced its first flight this Monday.

Cirrus Vision Jet Prospects Remain Optimistic

The Duluth News Tribune reports that orders for the Cirrus Vision Jet are increasing, even with the unsteady economy. Cirrus needs to keep the orders coming to finance the conforming prototypes they will build next year. AIN points out that 106 orders have been placed in the past six months, however, there were also somewhere around 50 cancellations making that number just a little less optimistic.

Total Eclipse Still on Track

The AOPA just posted an article about the progress that Eclipse Aerospace is making as it continues to rise from the ashes of bankruptcy. They also promise an article about the company in an upcoming issue of their magazine, AOPA Pilot. The more I hear about the new Eclipse Aerospace, the more I like it.

Looks Like Fun...Someday

An article at GreenMuze.com discusses a pretty interesting sounding aircraft: the SmartFish. the blended wing design immediately suggests a quest for greater efficiency. The capabilities they're boasting their plane is capable of are pretty amazing. The SmartFish website says the technology could be applied from anything to small UAVs to business jets to midsize business jets.

So, is this one of those eternally under development concepts or a potential leap in aircraft design?

How Has Cessna Already Produced 300 Mustangs?

I was pretty optimistic when the concept of the Very Light Jet was born. There were several neat designs and costs promised to be impressively low. Since then though, several start-up VLJ companies failed and many other projects are stalled or just creeping along. The VLJ hype has all but disappeared. How then has Cessna reached the impressive milestone of rolling out its 300th Citation Mustang?

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