US start-up Stratos Aircraft has completed preliminary flight testing of its Stratos 714 personal jet, and is now seeking more than $100 million to fund a certification programme to bring the four-seat, high-performance aircraft to market.
The proof-of-concept 714 made its maiden sortie on 21 November 2016, and had logged 52h across 33 flights by the time the initial evaluation phase ended in late May.
Stratos says the Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-5-powered aircraft recorded speeds of 320kt (590km/h) during testing and reached an altitude of 17,000ft. "We are extremely pleased with the progress we've made up to this point," says chief executive Michael Lemaire. "We haven't encountered anything that would require a major change in the design."
The US Federal Aviation Administration has now removed the initial flight limitations, he notes, allowing the 714 to move into the certification phase.
Lemaire says the company is seeking "north of $100 million" in investment to fund the certification effort and bring the 714 to market. "Once the money is in place, we expect to complete certification within three years," he says.
To help drum up investor interest, Stratos will debut the proof-of-concept 714 at two leading US business and general aviation events this year: at the AirVenture show, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in July and the National Business Aviation Association convention in Las Vegas in October.
Redmond, Oregon-based Stratos says it will not take deposits for the aircraft until it can commit to a certification date, but it is recording expressions of interest.
The 714 has a projected top speed of 400kt and a range of 1,500nm (2,770km).