Wisconisin-based business jet maker Stratos Aircraft has reported good progress on the testing of its Stratos 714 test aircraft and is launching a larger airplane called the 716X in kit form while it completes the certification process.
Stratos’ 714 VLJ (Very Light Jet) aircraft has completed 130 test flights and logged 185 hours since its maiden flight in November 2016, but will be succeeded by the 716, which has a 31” (80cm) longer and 3.5” (9cm) wider cabin than the 714 and is intended for personal, business and air taxi use.
Stratos CTO, Carsten Sundin, said that the development of the 716 was in response to demand for a 6-seater aircraft made after details of the 714’s 4-seat design were revealed. He said, “The 714 aircraft has served a vital role in advancing the design towards the 716.
“We will first offer the 716X, as an experimental kit aircraft. We see producing a limited number of kit aircraft as a logical step towards certification. It also allows customers who don’t want to wait for certification an opportunity to own and operate a Stratos 716X much sooner.”
The 716X is made entirely from carbon fiber and features trailing link gear. It is powered by Pratt & Whitney JT15D-5 engines and is configured with dual G3X touch flight displays, GTN 750 navigation, GPS, communications multi-function display, integrated Garmin Autopilot, dual standby attitude indicators, custom switch panels, fully automated pressurization system and air conditioning.
The Stratos 716X kit will be comprehensive and include a builder’s assist program. “We are excited to be able to introduce the 716X builder’s assist program”, said Sundin. “This program will allow us to deliver the 716X to a select group of customers very soon while we continue with the program for the 716 Certified aircraft.”
The first Stratos 716X has been sold and is currently in production at the company’s factory in Redmond, Oregon. 41,000 sq. ft. in Redmond, Oregon to support the production of the Stratos 716.
Development of the Stratos 714 started in 2008. Certification of the aircraft has been delayed during development because of a lack of funding, it has been reported.