JetSet Aviation - the US company that is resurrecting the 1950s Morane-Saulnier MS760 Paris Jet - is mulling the development of a stretched version of the four-seat twinjet based on its 40-year-old MS-760C Paris III stablemate.
Only one of the six-seat twin-engined aircraft was built by the French airframer before development was halted in the mid-1960s because of poor customer take-up. This aircraft is stored in a museum at Le Bourget airport in Paris.
"This aircraft will perfectly complement our line-up," says JetSet Aviation founder Edward Furtak. There is a great deal of demand for a small high-performance business jet and this would be ideal for both the private and commercial aviation communities.
JetSet acquired the type certificate for the Paris Jet from Daher Socata last month, along with tooling, engineering drawings, spare parts - including more than 60 of the aircraft's Turbomeca Marbore turbojets - and plans to relaunch production of the 55-year-old aircraft with Williams FJ44 turbofans or as a single-engined type powered by Pratt & Whitney JT15D-4s.
"Type certificate transfer is expected early next year. We will offer the re-engined version as a retrofit initially," says Furtak, adding that the company has not ruled out offering both versions "if demand is strong enough".
The aircraft will also be equipped with a Garmin G600 glass cockpit and synthetic vision system and will be sold for around $550,000. "We will announce our engine choice before the end of the year, when we will also firm up the pricing and performance specification for the retrofit aircraft," says Furtak. Preliminary specifications reveal a cruise speed of around 400kt (740km/h) and range of 2,590km (1,400nm).
JetSet has acquired 22 Paris Jets from the French air force and 10 aircraft from private owners and the Argentinian air force, which retired its Paris Jets in 2007. "We have orders for 16 of these aircraft already that we hope to firm up in the coming weeks," Furtak adds.
The first retrofitted aircraft will enter service within 18 months, he predicts, "when the market should be buoyant again". The new production aircraft are expected to enter service within three years and the company expects demand to exceed 150 aircraft a year. "We will probably outsource the parts manufacture, but may undertake final assembly ourselves - this has yet to be decided," says Furtak.
Meanwhile, JetSet will continue to support the Paris Jet and will establish marketing, engineering and support programmes to help sell and maintain the existing inventory. The company says it will offer an introductory trade-up programme, special fuel pricing and financing.