Redmond, Oregon-based Stratos Aircraft completed the first flight of its latest prototype, taking another step toward bringing the sleek 716X, a single-engine jet, to market. Powered by a Pratt & Whitney JT15D-5, the 716X will be offered as an experimental; however, Stratos designed the airplane with certification in mind. While the process has not yet begun, Stratos plans to also offer a certified 716.
The Stratos jet has a targeted cruise speed of 400 knots. Several seating configurations will be offered, with ample space for up to six people. There is also a separate luggage compartment in the carbon fiber fuselage. Pilots will have plenty of legroom as the flight deck is designed with a sidestick rather than a yoke.
Stratos’s test pilot Sean VanHatten took the 716X to the skies on July 2. “Over two years and countless hours from the dedicated professionals associated with this aircraft made sure it was an uneventful flight,” VanHatten said after the 24-minute inaugural flight.
Stratos announced the 716X at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh in 2018. Prior to the announcement, the company had completed multiple flights of the smaller 714 prototype, While Stratos has not yet opened its order book for either the 716X or 716, the company has a list of interested parties, said Carsten Sundin, the CTO at Stratos. Only a limited number of 716Xs will be built through a builder program at the factory. The 716X will cost approximately $2.5 million. The certified version will add another million to the price tag.