Sino Swearingen Gets FAA TIA Approval

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With all the hype, talk and status updates from Cessna, Eclipse and even Honda, Sino Swearingen Aircraft Corporation (SSAC) this week had to get in the game, announcing it had received the FAA's Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) for its forthcoming SJ30-2 light (13,500 max gross takeoff weight) jet. According to Sino Swearingen, the occasion marks the first time in 35 years that a "new company" has been awarded a TIA for a new bizjet. Among other things, obtaining a TIA allows a manufacturer to certify its new airplanes as airworthy when they roll out of the assembly building, without each one needing to be inspected by the FAA. According to Sino Swearingen, the approval is "the final threshold" leading up to FAA type certification, expected later in 2005. Three SJ30-2s have been in engaged in flight testing; two more are being used for static and fatigue testing at the company's facilities in San Antonio, Texas, and Martinsburg, W.V. Although final specs are, well, not final, Sino Swearingen says its new offering will feature a cabin pressurized to 12.0 psi, allowing it to maintain a sea-level cabin up to FL410; the SJ30-2 is designed for a maximum ceiling of FL490. Powered by two Williams International FJ44-2A engines, the jet is designed to cruise at up to Mach 0.83 and have a max range of 2500 nm. Up front will be Honeywell's Epic avionics system; aft of the cockpit will be five passenger seats. Dr. Carl Chen, president and CEO of SSAC, added, “Now, out of nowhere, in a short time, there will be a new manufacturer on the world aviation scene with a new jet aircraft that has speed and intercontinental range performance figures that exceed every light jet business aircraft on earth.”