Safire's First Press Conference

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One of several news-making events this year was the very first press conference held by Safire Aircraft Company. Until now, the company has purposely kept a low profile, as it transitioned from the S-26 program to the Safire Jet design and set up shop in Opa Locka, Fla. Now company officials say the manufacturer intends on being much more visible in the personal jet market. Several facts were offered at the press conference, which provided some insight into the jet's ability to battle against the likes of Eclipse Aviation and Adam Aircraft. The Williams F-J33 engine -- currently undergoing certification -- will provide 1,530 lbs of thrust to move the $1.395 million jet along at an undisclosed clip. Officials made clear this is not the same Williams engine (the EJ22), which caused major delays in Eclipse Aviation's program schedule. The first Safire Jet flight test aircraft is planned to fly in Q1 2004 with FAA certification planned for December 2005. Customer deliveries -- of the current 300 orders -- are scheduled to begin in Q1 2006.