Sport-Jet To Fly Again
Development of the Sport-Jet will continue, despite a recent crash that left the lone prototype with substantial damage, the company said on Tuesday. That aircraft had already flown 25 hours, testing more than 95 percent of the projected performance envelope. "We discovered that the integrity of the aircraft and its systems were proved. We can and will move forward confidently," Excel-Jet President Bob Bornhofen said in a statement. Preliminary investigation by the NTSB revealed no mechanical failures with the jet, he said. The jet cartwheeled down the runway shortly after liftoff. The company statement said wake turbulence was the likely cause. The two pilots on board escaped without serious injury. The company is ready to proceed with the Sport-Jet, Bornhofen said, "because what we discovered so far suggests we have a winner." He credits the carbon-fiber roll-cage design of the cabin with preventing injury to the two pilots despite the severity of the impact. And to prove its hardiness, and the company's faith, that fuselage will be on display next week at AirVenture.