Century Aerospace began taking orders for its Century Jet single-turbofan business aircraft at the show, and was confident of meeting its target of an initial 20 sales by the end of the week.

The first 20 buyers were offered $100,000 off the $1.95 million list price, and a place on the customer advisory committee, in return for placing a $10,000 refundable deposit, according to president Bill Northrup.

Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Century plans a first flight by the end of 1998. US certification is scheduled for the end of 1999, leading to first deliveries of the aircraft in early 2000.

Initial aircraft will be powered by the 8.5kN (1,900lb)-thrust Williams-Rolls FJ44-1, but the company plans to upgrade to the 10.2kN FJ44-2 when sufficient twin-engine time has been accumulated on the more-powerful turbofan, early next century.

Century will assemble the aircraft at Albuquerque, using composite fuselages and metal wings supplied by subcontractors. The company plans to gear up for production of four aircraft a month, and is projecting sales of 400 Century Jets over ten years.

Source: Flight International