Aerostar Aircraft says it will select by the end of the year the powerplant for its long talked-about FJ-100 light jet derivative of the Piper Aerostar 600/700 piston twin. The decision comes as the Haydon, Idaho-based company nears supplemental type certification of a 225kg (500lb) gross weight increase for the Aerostar to 1,000kg.

Aerostar vice-president Jim Christie says the company "is not in any hurry to get the aircraft flying". He adds: "We are no longer making public predictions about the certification timetable of the aircraft. We will get it flying with our funds and under our own steam," he says.

The choice of powerplant is between the Williams FJ33 and Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F. A glass cockpit is also under consideration for the six-seat FJ-100, which will be priced at around $1.5 million.

The six-seat Piper Aerostar was originally designed as a light jet and entered production in 1969 with Piper Aircraft as a piston twin. Aerostar acquired the rights in 1991 and continues to produce spare parts and enhance the original under licence.

Source: Flight International