'Personal Jet' Contender Pool Expands With High-Performance Offering From Stratos

If the list of twin-engine, very light jet contenders seems long, those hoping to build single-engine jets are now also starting to grow in number. Newcomer Stratos Aircraft in Bend, Oregon, announced last week it is developing a four-place very light personal jet (VLPJ) to be called the Stratos 714. Stratos claims it has the highest in performance of the single-engine contenders. The competition, so far, is from Cirrus with its Vision SJ50, Diamond with its D-Jet, Eclipse with its Eclipse 400 and Piper with its PiperJet. Projected cruise speed of the composite-airframe Stratos 714 is 400 knots; range 1,500 nautical miles; ceiling 41,000 feet; and price under $2 million. The technical challenge to meet such ambitious numbers is a potent one, with weight gain during development usually the number one enemy. Not to mention a once fluid investment climate that has dried up like spilled fuel on a hot ramp.