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PICTURE: Third Grob SPn prototype takes flight

Grob flew its third SPn light business jet prototype - registration D-CSPJ - on 29 October from its development and manufacturing facility in Tussenhausen-Mattsies, near Munich.

The milestone comes 11 months after the loss of the second prototype following a fatal crash at the same site.

The 1h 26min flight involved basic systems checks, stability and control evaluation and a first landing with the Liebherr Aerospace-desgined landing gear system, which will be standard on all production aircraft.

 Test aircraft number 3 taking off on first flight

Grob chief executive Niall Olver says the company will add a further three aircraft to support the flight-test programme. Production of the fourth test aircraft is already well under way, he says and scheduled to join the two flying prototypes by the end of the year.

Two series production aircraft will enter the programme shortly after. These fully conforming aircraft will be used for functional reliability testing and will be equipped with the full interior designed by Porsche Design Studio.

European and US certification is earmarked for the second quarter of next year.

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