SINO SWEARINGEN Aircraft (SSAC) has repositioned the SJ30 light business-jet to avoid competing head-on with Raytheon Aircraft's new Premier I. The Taiwanese-backed company now plans to develop an increased-performance SJ30-2 concurrently with the original aircraft, now designated the SJ30-1.

The SJ30-2 will be powered by two uprated, 10kN (2,300lb)-thrust, Williams-Rolls FJ44-2C turbofans, giving a maximum cruise-speed of Mach 0.83, or 475kt (880km/h). Fuel capacity will be increased by 660kg, to give a visual-flight-rules (VFR) range of 5,550km (3,000nm), and maximum operating-altitude will be increased to 49,000ft (15,000ft).

The six-passenger, $3.5 million, SJ30-2 is being marketed as a low-cost alternative to long-range, high-speed, business jets such as the Cessna Citation X , says SSAC chairman Ed Swearingen. The SJ30-2's predicted M0.78/450kt maximum-range speed is 9kt faster than the published best-range speed for the Citation X, he says.

With four passengers and baggage, the SJ30-2 will have a claimed instrument-flight-rules range of 1,850km, a 47,000ft initial altitude and a M0.81 cruise speed.

Cabin comfort, will be improved by a 1,050mm fuselage stretch, to provide additional fuel and baggage capacity, which places the engines well aft of the cabin and a 77bar (12lb/in2) fuselage pressure-differential, which provides a sea-level cabin altitude to 41,000ft.

Swearingen says that a funding plan for certification and production of the SJ30 is "approved and in place". US certification and first deliveries of both versions are planned for 1998 - an "aggressive" schedule, admits David Lee, president of San Antonio, Texas-based SSAC's Taiwanese backer, Sino-Aerospace Investment.

SSAC's proof-of-concept SJ30 is being modified to represent the SJ30-1, with the fuselage stretch, wing dihedral and longer undercarriage, and a second flight-test aircraft is planned. Swearingen refuses to comment on whether SSAC plans to certificate both versions using just two aircraft.

Compared with the SJ30-2, the SJ30-1, powered by two 8kN FJ44-1As, will have a M0.77/442kt maximum cruise, 3,700km VFR range and 43,000ft operating altitude, SSAC says. Price for the first 25 SJ30-1s is $3 million, and $3.5 million for the first 75 SJ30-2s.

The SJ30 will be fabricated by subcontractors and assembled by SSAC at Martinsburg, West Virginia.

Source: Flight International