One of the stars of the static display is the diminutive and attractive twin turbo-fan CMC Leopard - designed and built in Britain - which attracts admiring glances due to its Ferrari-like good looks and high-quality finish.

A four-seat mini-business jet, the Leopard prototype 002 is within a month of its first flight at Cranfield in Bedfordshire when the near-production-standard aircraft will be put through its paces in readiness for demonstrating its abilities to potential buyers. The Leopard 001, a proof-of-concept aircraft, flew between 1989 and 1991, illustrating that the composite structure and engineering features were viable.

Although of limited speed and altitude capability, the 001 defined basic handling characteristics at low speed, together with the performance potential of a configuration which remains unchanged.

Powered by a pair of Williams FJX-1 turbofans, each of 3kN (700lb) thrust, the Leopard should be capable of cruising 430kt (800km/h) at an altitude of over 45,000ft (14,000m) when the definitive FJX-2 engines are installed.

The airframe is built totally of composites with an advanced transonic and laminar-flow wing and the range with a full payload will be 2,775km. Estimated price is $1.25 million. CMC reports considerable interest from potential buyers in Europe and the Middle East.






Source: Flight Daily News