VisionAire has published the design review of its VA-10 Vantage single-engined business jet. It commissioned the review early this year to address concerns over the aircraft's handling and weight which arose during the 300h flight test programme on its proof of concept airframe.

"As a result of our efforts over the past few months, we now have a better product and a better company that are both built to last," says VisionAire chairman Jim Rice.

Major changes include:

• replacing the Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-5 with the more powerful JT15D-5D to "improve reliability and increase thrust by 150lb [0.66kN]". The engine will also be moved aft by 51cm (20in) and raised by 12.75cm "to reduce the inlet duct curvature, the anti-icing power requirement and increase the external baggage store";

• changing the fuselage from a multisplice frame to a monocoque structure to reduce empty weight;

• reducing the forward wing sweep from 10º to 6º to improve control and stall behaviour;

• increasing the vertical tail area, while moving back the horizontal tail to improve spin recovery, increase handling characteristics and lift;

• incorporating a wider-track, wing-mounted, trailing-link main landing gear "to make the Vantage safer on the runway and to provide a soft landing". The wing will be lowered by 15cm and tipover angle will be improved by about 18º.

The Vantage will offer a maximum cruise speed of 350kt (650km/h), range with full payload of 1,850 (1,000nm), maximum ceiling of 41,000ft (12,505m) and a take-off and landing distance of less than 762.5m. "Type certification of the Vantage will be achieved in 30 months from now and production and certification in an additional six months," says Rice.

The St Louis, Missouri-based company continues to seek extra capital to bridge the gap between the original development costs and the amount identified by the study.

Four extra flight test aircraft will be built. The first is due to begin flight testing in 11 months and the second eight months later. The two final test Vantages will be production aircraft, lined up for flight testing 23 months into the programme.

"The overall development and production costs of the Vantage are about $200 million and we still require an extra $140 million to bring the programme to production," says Rice. VisionAire is seeking the additional funds from private investment. VisionAire has over 140 orders for the $2.2 million, six-seat Vantage.

Source: Flight International