As the gates opened for the annual weeklong EAA AirVenture show, Redmond, Oregon-based Stratos Aircraft announced a modified version of its proof-of-concept single-engine jet – the Stratos 716. Stratos’s CTO and chief designer, Carsten Sundin, briefed the media about the progress on the proof of concept airplane and the new design.
While the ultimate goal is to offer a certified 716, Stratos is starting up production with an experimental 716X. Owners will be assisted in the build process at the factory in Redmond, which has a slew of high-tech composite manufacturing equipment. The build process is expected to take about six months, but Sundin said the ultimate goal is not to produce a large number of 716Xs. Instead, the intent is to use the experimental model to fine-tune the final certified design while also acquiring the funding required for the full certification program – a similar plan to the Epic E1000, which has been struggling to achieve the coveted FAA signoff for years.
Potential Stratos customers had requested a cabin larger than that of the proof of concept 714, Sundin said. The 716X is 31 inches longer and 2 inches wider than the POC. The 716X will provide a comfortable club- or forward facing seating arrangement for four people in the back with plenty of luggage space behind the last row.
While the 716 has many critical parts in common with the 714, such as the wings, landing gear, and Pratt & Whitney JT15D-5 engine, the new version will have a redesigned fuselage. Like the POC, the pilot or pilots flying the 716 will control the airplane with sidesticks and a single power lever. Garmin’s highly capable G3X experimental glass avionics suite and GTN 750 navigator will complete the panel.
The Stratos 714 has flown more than 185 hours during 130 flight test missions. The airplane has reached 370 knots at altitudes as high as 25,000 feet. While the 716 will be bigger, Sundin expects similar performance numbers. The targeted performance figures as well as pricing have not yet been announced. More details about the 716 will be provided before the yearend.