SyberJet readies SJ30i for third-quarter maiden flight

SyberJet Aircraft says engineering work on the new cockpit of its SJ30i business jet is “95% complete” and the revamped light twin should make its maiden sortie in the third quarter.

The main feature of the redesigned cockpit is the airframer’s bespoke SyberVision flightdeck. Based on Honeywell’s Primus Epic 2.0 system, it comprises four 30.5cm (12in) displays and a host of features including SmartView synthetic vision, a moving map display system, electronic charts, TCAS II, dual flight management systems, graphical flight planning and onboard weather radar.

SyberJet, headquartered in Cedar City, Utah, has also upgraded the layout of the cockpit to boost its functionality and ergonomics. The sidewalls and ledges have been redesigned to provide maximum room for the flightcrew, while the engine control panel has been repositioned to the overhead panel to maximise visibility.

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SyberJet Aircraft

“The engineering work on the cockpit is almost complete and we are now installing wire harnesses [for SyberVision] in the first test aircraft,” says SyberJet general manager and director of sales, Mark Fairchild.

“Functional testing will begin as soon as the installations are complete. We are aiming for engine power-on in May, with first flight in the summer timeframe.”

The $8.3 million, Williams International FJ44-2A-powered SJ30i is an upgraded version of the SJ30-2, which was certificated in 2005 by its former owner Emivest Aerospace.

The SJ30 programme was acquired in 2011 by SyberJet’s parent company MTI, whose subsidiary Metalcraft Technologies was the aft fuselage supplier for the programme. Four SJ30-2s are in service today including an example – serial number 010 owned by US actor and SJ30 brand ambassador Morgan Freeman.

The sale to MTI included five unsold and incomplete units, three of which will be assembled and sold as SJ30is, says Fairchild. “Serial numbers 009, 011 and 012 are in various stages of build, from about 50% to 80% [complete],” he says.

“Serial numbers 013 and 014 are between 15% to 20% complete,” Fairchild adds. They will become the first examples of SyberJet’s new baseline model – the SJ30x. This version was created, he says, as Williams has stopped producing the -2A variant of the engine.

The $8.8 million SJ30x is scheduled to enter service in 2019, featuring remodelled seating and more fuel-efficient, higher-thrust FJ44-3AP-25 turbofans.