A buyer is being sought for the Phoenix FanJet, formerly the Promavia Jet Squalus, a jet trainer that first flew in 1987, but failed to make it into production. The design's owner, Canadian firm Noravcan, is seeking a buyer for assets including engineering and flight-test data.

The company is looking for a "significant player" to take over the assets, says Bruce Halliwell, who has been retained to sell the FanJet. Halliwell says he is responding to requests for information, and cites Brazil's Embraer and Canada's AvCorp as among the companies provided with programme details.

The Jet Squalus was designed for Belgian company Promavia. In 1996, Calgary-based Alberta Aerospace (AAC) acquired the manufacturing rights to the aircraft, which it planned to certificate as the Phoenix FanJet, in two-seat trainer and four-seat personal aircraft versions.

Promavia was declared bankrupt in 1998, precipitating a court battle for the assets, including the Jet Squalus prototype. The asset sale to AAC was ratified by the court in 1999, but the Canadian company ceased operations in 2001 citing a lack of cash.

Alberta Aerospace had planned to manufacture the FanJet at Moravan Aeroplanes in the Czech Republic, and AAC chief executive Donald Jewitt provided financial backing for Moravan's takeover of bankrupt Czech manufacturer Let Kunovice in 2001. But in 2002 both Let and Moravan became involved in another bankruptcy.

Halliwell says the FanJet assets are not involved in the ongoing Czech court battle and are owned "free and clear" by Calgary-based Noravcan. Halliwell says the assets consist principally of design and test data that would allow a manufacturer to certificate an updated version of the aircraft.

US certification of the two-seat FanJet was about 85% complete when AAC ceased operations, says Halliwell. The price sought for the assets is about "$10 million in cash and some shares" if the buyer is a publicly traded company, he says.

Source: Flight International