The Stratos 714 VLJ has been more than ten years in the making, originating with a conversation between CEO Michael Lemaire and Chief Technology Officer Carsten Sundin. On Monday, their team proudly displayed the fruit of their labor at EAA AirVenture, as the 714 kicked off the morning’s activities at Boeing Plaza. With fresh paint and interior, the jet quickly attracted the attention of AirVenture guests, and Lemaire addressed the crowd with a smile as he detailed the 714’s long journey from an idea to proof of concept.
The goal, Lemaire recalled, was to create a jet that could fly at 400 knots over a range of 1,500 nautical miles, and today those numbers are becoming a reality, flying four people comfortably at 41,000 feet. The interior can be configured for up to six people.
For the time being, the company is working on a prototype 714 powered by a Pratt &Whitney JT15B-5 engine. So far, the prototype has accumulated about 60 hours of flight testing. The ultimate goal for the 714 is certification with a Pratt & Whitney 535E, the same engine that powers the Phenom 300. The documents and testing have been set up to accommodate the certification effort, Sundin said; however, Stratos Aircraft needs additional funding to achieve this goal.
The next step for the 714 is more testing, as the team still has plenty of work ahead. But so far everything is as Lemaire and Sundin hoped during their original brainstorm session.
“We are at about 70 hours of flight tests, and the pilots like it,” Lemaire said. “The two pilots who have been lucky enough to fly the plane so far said they really like the way it handles, so that’s a good sign.”
Because there’s still more testing ahead, Stratos is not yet taking orders for the 714; however, the team hopes to make significant flight progress by the year’s end. Lemaire and Sundin are confident that this VLJ will be a strong competitor for similar jets.
Obviously, there’s a great deal of pride that comes with showing off the proof of concept, especially first thing on Monday morning at AirVenture. Sundin told Flying that he’s incredibly proud of the 714, and it was a truly special moment for him and the production team to see their hard work come to life with the blue and white paint design and that unmistakable new jet smell. Of course, it was even better to see the reaction and approval from the AirVenture guests.