Action Aviation Investors is expected to complete by the end of the month its acquisition of struggling start-up Sino Swearingen Aircraft (SSAC)

After investing more than $700 million in SSAC, the Taiwanese backers sold a majority controlling interest in the San Antonio, Texas-based company late last year to the investment group - a joint venture between the SSAC's largest distributor, Action Aviation and ACQ Capital. A industry source says the new company was formed by Action Aviation to safeguard the future of the SJ30 aircraft programme. "There is a still huge maket for the SJ30 as no manufacturer has mananged to fill this niche," says the source, even though the aircraft has been more than two decades in the making.

Action Aviation, which has around 157 of the 260 orders for the $7.5 million SJ30, is convinced that the sale will be a turning point for SSAC, which has encountered numerous problems since the certification of its SJ30 light jet in October 2005. Production problems caused by inferior tooling delayed the first delivery until 23 February 2007. The second was delivered to Action later the same year.


"The priority for the investors is to ramp up production as soon as it can, but it's not as simple as throwing a light switch," says the source. "First it needs to build the tooling and workforce to meet the production targets," which are set at around at around 10 aircraft this year, between 25 to 30 next year, ramping up to 70 a year soon after, he says.

Source: Flight International