Stratos VLJ Undergoes Wind Tunnel Testing

Five days of wind tunnel testing for the Stratos 714 very light personal jet (VLPJ) have been completed at the University of Washington Aeronautical Laboratory (UWAL) in Seattle, Washington. More than 90 tests were conducted on a one-fifth-scale aluminum, polycarbonate and composite model of the single-engine jet design.** **

Engineers are still analyzing the data collected from the wind tunnel tests, but a news release stated: “Initial results show the tests verified the novel areas of the design; the scalloped forward fuselage in particular. ” The tests did, however, conclude that the wing-body fairings need to be adjusted and additional wind tunnel work will be required to finalize their design.

The tests were conducted in the Kirsten Wind Tunnel, named after Frederick Kurt Kirsten, who helped develop the aeronautical program at the university over a 30-year period beginning in the 1930s. The wind tunnel has been in operation at UWAL since 1939, with extensive use testing military and commercial airplanes as well as other academic testing.

Based in Bend, Oregon, Stratos Aircraft announced in 2008 its intent to develop the Stratos 714 – a light jet designed for four to five people. Targeted performance numbers for the 714 include the remarkably ambitious figures of 400-knot-plus speeds and 1,500-nm range (including NBAA reserves). The projected price is around $2 million.

Stratos Aircraft is accepting fully refundable $10,000 deposits for Stratos 714 delivery positions and the company is looking for investors to fund the program. If the fundraising is successful, Stratos hopes to have two prototypes flying within the next two years.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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