The rage of VLJ's (very light jets) is well under way now, with aircraft being delivered and entering service, while others are in the pipeline to start deliveries over the next few years. It now appears that VLJ's are destined for Part 135 Air Taxi Commercial Operations and for use by small businesses as bizjets.
In the meantime pilots who fly their own turboprops and high performance twins are being targeted as a new market for single engine personal jets. Among the players are the new Cirrus personal jet which made its maiden flight on July 3rd. The aircraft is designed to be a follow-on for Cirrus's SR20 and SR22 model aircraft.
Another entry is the new Eclipse 400 personal jet with its uniquely positioned engine on top of the fuselage and V-Tail. This four-place jet will cruise at 41,000 feet, 3 miles above its nearest competitor. At $ 1.35M it is priced below all of its competitors.
An earlier entry into this market was the Sport Jet which, for the time being, has ceased to be a viable aircraft. Another aircraft, the ATG Javelin, is in cold storage while its backers seek additional funding and are negotiating to renew production of the two seat jet.
As the turbo-prop fleet ages owners look for more fuel efficient alternatives and ways to travel farther, faster and cheaper. Because of this there is a lot of interest in the personal single engine jet. One may show up at your airport sooner than you think.
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!