Richard Bacon, the inventor behind the concept of powering aircraft with dissimilarly sized engines, says that his 3X Jet Aircraft company has held "major talks" with an interested powerplant manufacturer.

Golden, Colorado-based 3X Jet hopes to persuade the unnamed engine supplier to champion the 3X configuration in subsequent discussions due to be held with business aircraft manufacturers on funding a proof of concept programme.

The 3X Jet concept combines an engine sized for high-altitude cruise with a smaller powerplant designed to provide short-term emergency power, both mounted on the centreline. Bacon says the design combines the efficiency and lower cost of a single-engined aircraft with multi-engined design performance.

While 3X Jet hopes to license its design to existing manufacturers, Bacon says that seeking investors to fund development is an option. He estimates that an initial concept development phase would take a year and cost $1 million, while a two-year proof-of-concept stage would cost around $10 million, including construction of a flying prototype.

Source: Flight International