NBAA: Swearingen’s SJ30 finds a saviour

The latest trend in general aviation is to certificate your aircraft then fumble getting it into production. Sino Swearingen certificated its fast-but-light SJ30 at the end of 2005 after decades of effort, but has delivered only two so far – the second one here at the show.

After pouring an estimated $700 million into the programme, and seeing no return, Sino’s Taiwanese backers wanted out. Now the UK’s Action Aviation, the biggest SJ30 distributor with 159 on order, has joined with US private equity firm ACQ Capital to buy a controlling stake.

More familiar with real estate than aircraft manufacture, ACQ says the joint venture will put enough money into Sino to get the SJ30 into full production and the company into profit. And they freely admit they face a challenge persuading abused suppliers it’s for real this time.

The folks behind the deal clearly love the aircraft. Now they just have to prove to the market that they can produce it, deliver it and support it.

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