SyberJet Aircraft has pushed back first flight of its SJ30i to the end of the year following its decision to bring in house the electronic engineering work involved in incorporating the light business jet’s redesigned cockpit.

The revamped twin was scheduled to make its maiden sortie this quarter, equipped with its new SyberVision avionics suite. The engineering work was originally assigned to an undisclosed private company. “We have decided to take full control of the engineering project,” says SyberJet’s general manager, Mark Fairchild. “This has delayed the SJ30i certification by a few months, but it is a price worth paying.”

The SyberVision suite, which is based on Honeywell’s Primus Epic 2.0 system, comprises four 12in displays and a host of features including synthetic vision, a moving map display system, electronics charts, TCAS II, dual flight management systems (FMSs), graphical flight planning and onboard weather radar.

“This is a very advanced cockpit for this market segment,” Fairchild says.

SyberJet has redesigned the side walls and ledges to provide maximum room for the flightcrew, while the engine control panel has been repositioned to the overhead panel to reduce visual clutter.

“We are manufacturing a business jet which is mainly targeted at owner-pilots, so attention to detail in the cockpit is paramount,” Fairchild says.

Automotive interior designer Jason Castriota has been appointed to style the cabin and cockpit, which “is designed to have the look and feel of a high-performance sports car”.

Certification and service entry of the Williams International FJ44-3AP-2A-powered twin is scheduled for late next year, which should coincide with first flight of the re-engined SJ30x.

Equipped with the more fuel-efficient, higher-thrust FL44-3AP-25 turbofans, the SJ30x will be the standard version following its entry into service, earmarked for 2017.

“The production line will transition to the x version at serial number 15,” Fairchild says.

SyberJet, headquartered in Cedar City, Utah, is currently revising the price of the SJ30i and the SJ30x, currently pegged at $8 million and $8.5 million respectively. It will not disclose order numbers or delivery projections, but says it is optimistic about the aircraft’s sales prospects, despite the continued fragility of the light jet market.

The SJ30 programme was acquired by SyberJet’s parent company MTI in 2011 from Emivest Aerospace. Emivest, and Sino Swearingen before it, produced two each of the seven-seat aircraft, although several more were on the production line when operations were halted in October 2010.

Source: Flight International