Alberta Aerospace plans to develop a four-seat version of the former Promavia Jet Squalus jet trainer. The Calgary-based company is now working to certificate the basic two-seat, side-by-side version, renamed the Phoenix FanJet, for the airline-pilot ab initio training market.

The follow-on pressurised four-seater would be marketed as a personal aircraft, says company president Ray Johnson.

Alberta Aerospace acquired the manufacturing and marketing rights for the Stelio Frati-designed aircraft, and two prototypes, from Promavia. The company has re-engined one prototype with the Williams-Rolls FJ44-1 turbofan planned for the Phoenix, and plans to modify the second aircraft as a prototype for the four-seater, says Johnson.

The Phoenix prototype was demonstrated to major flight schools on the eve of the show, and Johnson says that the level of interest is "very high". US and European certification is on schedule for May 1998, he says, and the company is gearing up to produce two a month initially, with deliveries scheduled to begin in the second half of 1998.

Because the two-seater will cost $1.575 million, with a Honeywell Primus 1000 "glass-cockpit" available at extra cost, Alberta Aerospace plans to lease the aircraft for a total cost of $270-280/h.

Johnson says that the Phoenix has a stall speed of 61kt (113km/h) and a maximum cruise speed of 345kt, making it suitable for training zero-time students.

The four-seater will cost $1.9 million and is expected to be certificated and available by early 1999. Changes will include pressurisation and increased thrust, fuel capacity and gross weight.

Fuel will be relocated to the wing and two extra seats installed where the fuselage tank is located in the two-seater.

Alberta Aerospace will require owners to gain and maintain a type certificate for the Phoenix, says Johnson, a former Piper president.

The Phoenix will be assembled in Alberta, and negotiations are under way with companies in western Canada to supply the major airframe sections, says Johnson.

The project has been financed by private investors and sufficient cash has been raised so far to take the two-seater through certification and into production.

Source: Flight International