Polish engineering company Metal Master is planning to fly its first Flaris LAR-1 ultra-light jet before the end of the year.

The milestone is “a little later” than planned, says the Podgorzyn-based company, which had originally hoped to begin flight testing in mid-2014.

“We are slightly delayed, but when plans are so optimistic and the work is huge, it is not unusual for this to happen,” the airframer says. “The main message is that we are going forward and maiden flight should take place this year.”

The first prototype, MSN1, is currently undergoing static and “non-destructive” load testing in Warsaw, while MSN2 – the first flying prototype – is being readied for its first flight.

A Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610 turbofan is believed to be powering MSN2, although Metal Master has yet to disclose its final choice of engine for the €1.5 million ($1.9 million) aircraft.

The initial LAR-1 prototypes will be equipped with Garmin G600 avionics, although customers will eventually be offered a choice of Garmin flightdecks “up to the G3000” touchscreen-integrated glass cockpit.

Three more test aircraft are currently under construction, two of which will be dedicated to the European CS-23 certification campaign.

Approval is not expected until “three years after [the LAR-1’s] maiden flight”, so in order to get the aircraft into customer hands, Metal Master plans to validate the aircraft initially under the Polish civil aviation authority’s S-1 experimental aircraft designation. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2016.

The four-seat LAR-1 features semi-elliptical, detachable wings – allowing the aircraft to be parked in a spacious garage – and a safety parachute system in the nose of the aircraft.

The carbonfibre type is projected to have a maximum take-off weight of 1,500kg (3,300lb), a cruise speed of 380kt (700km/h) and a range of 1,730nm (3,200km).

Source: Flight International