Sport-Jet Flight Tests Verify Performance Goals, Company Says

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Excel-Jet president and aircraft designer Bob Bornhofen said on Monday that the first eight hours of flight tests for the Sport-Jet validate his preliminary performance estimates, and he believes the jet may exceed initial projections. "Even at lower altitudes, we are indicating 195 KIAS," Bornhofen said. "This figure comes while there is still plenty of available thrust left." Based on these results, the airplane should easily reach its target of 340 knots TAS at 25,000 feet, he said. On takeoff, ground rolls have been less than 1,800 feet, with rotation in under 12 seconds, Bornhofen said, even at the Colorado Springs airport, with a density altitude of nearly 7,000 feet. The jet is climbing at over 2,000 fpm at 150 KIAS, he said. "The aircraft continues to exhibit excellent stability and flight handling and is just a joy to fly," said test pilot Ron McElroy. The landing gear and flaps have been cycled and tested. The four-seat Sport-Jet will sell for about $1 million.