Production has started on the Maverick Air Twinjet 1200 five seat business jet, which will be available in kit and factory built versions.

"We are now assembling the first production kit plane, which we hope will be available by August," says Maverick owner and president Bob Bornhofen.

The $145,000 kitplane will be powered by two General Electric T-58 turbines, adapted by the Pueblo, Colorado-based company.

"The engine will provide 750lb [3.3kN] thrust at 93% of its RPM, and will offer a maximum cruise speed of 348kt [645km/h] at 30,000ft [10,000m]," says Bornhofen.

Maverick, which moved into a new factory last month, has received orders for four aircraft so far, but hopes to "sell out" initial production slots at the Experimental Aircraft Association show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in July, where a mock-up of the Twinjet 1200 will be displayed.

Bornhofen is keen to set up a European joint venture and is in talks with potential partners. "We will proceed with the certificated aircraft as soon as we have our partners in place," he says.

The factory built Twinjet is not scheduled to enter service until around 2001. "We may power this aircraft with the Williams FJX jet engine, which won't be available for another three to four years," adds Bornhofen, "so we are not in a desperate hurry."

Source: Flight International