Grob Jet Program Proceeds

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Grob Aerospace says European certification of its SPn business jet has been pushed back about six months to early 2008 due to the crash of the second prototype on a demonstration flight in Germany on Nov. 29. The crash -- which occurred near the manufacturer’s Mattsies-Tussenhausen, Germany facility -- killed test pilot Gérard Guillaumaud. While the company awaits the cause of the accident from German authorities, work is proceeding on a new test aircraft, which should be flying in the New Year. In a news release, CEO Niall Oliver said Grob remains committed to developing the $7 million jet and that customers have been “superb” in their understanding and reaction to the tragedy. The SPn is a carbon-fiber 10-place “utility” jet that Grob says will have a range of 1,800 nm with seven of the seats filled. The company says the airplane will have the most advanced glass cockpit of any aircraft in its class (Honeywell Primus Apex) and will also be able to use grass and gravel strips. Minimum runway at MTOW is 3,000 feet.