Jack Braly has resigned as president and chief executive of business-jet manufacturer Sino Swearingen Aircraft, and has been replaced by Dr Carl Chen, who was ousted as chairman of Advanced Aerodynamics & Structures (AASI) in January. Chen has come in as part of the latest financing deal with the US firm's Taiwanese investors.

Sino Swearingen chairman Chuen-Huei Tsai says the investors "are committed to funding the programme to complete certification and delivery of the SJ30-2 business jet as soon as possible". The original SJ30 first flew in 1991, followed in late 2000 by the first SJ30-2 prototype. US certification is now set for the end of next year.

Chen helped form AASI in 1990 to develop the JetCruzer single-turboprop business aircraft. Backed by private Taiwanese investors, the company certificated the JetCruzer 450 in 1994, but shelved the aircraft to pursue the improved JetCruzer 500. AASI raised over $30 million from an initial public offering in 1996, and secured substantial additional private investment, but the aircraft was still three years from delivery when a new management team led by Roy Norris took control of the company in January.

AASI then acquired bankrupt general-aviation manufacturer Mooney Aircraft, becoming Mooney Aerospace Group, and stopped work on the JetCruzer because of its weight, noise and cost. Last month, Norris resigned as president and chief executive of Mooney (Flight International, 27 August-2 September).

In April last year, after an unsuccessful search for $100 million extra funding, Sino Swearingen gained a commitment from its Taiwanese investors to complete certification and begin production of the SJ30-2 entry-level business jet. Earlier this year, the San Antonio, Texas-based company moved fabrication of the aircraft to Martinsburg, West Virginia, after cancelling its contract with Spanish risk-sharing partner Gamesa and failing to finalise a deal to move production to Nashville, Tennessee.

Source: Flight International