CENTURYAEROSPACE is preparing for windtunnel testing of a revised design for its Century Jet single-engined business jet. Changes include a 150mm-longer fuselage with a circular cross-section, compared with the original "nearly square" design, says the Albuquerque, New Mexico-based company.

The fuselage was stretched to restore balance after Century opted to install the larger -2 version of the Williams-Rolls FJ44 turbofan. Wing area has been enlarged to increase fuel capacity by 135kg. Gross weight has been increased by 200kg, to 2,700kg.

According to company founder Bill Northrup, the first Century Jets will be delivered with the original FJ44-1 turbofan, until the uprated -2 "-is mature enough" for use in a single-engined aircraft. He says the -1 engine, which powers Cessna's CitationJet, will have accumulated some 1 million hours by the time Century Jet deliveries are scheduled to begin, at the end of 1999.

The -1-powered aircraft has a maximum range of some 3,000km (1,600nm) and a high-speed cruise range of 2,400km. The -2 engine will increase cruise speed to 400kt (740km/h), from 350-360kt with the FJ44-1, Northrup says, for the loss of some 275km range. The FJ44-2 will be retrofittable into early Century Jets, Northrup says.

The company hopes to have the first of two prototypes flying by late 1998. Utah-based R-Cubed has been selected to produce the composite fuselage, with Albuquerque-based DeVore Aviation supplying the metal wing.

AllTool is to provide the landing gear, Hamilton Standard the environmental control system and AlliedSignal the avionics, according to Northrup.

Source: Flight International