GROB SPn Utility Jet Update

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GROB Aerospace recently provided an update on the flight-test program being conducted on the company's SPn Utility Jet, a lightweight jet announced earlier this year at the Paris Air Show. Unsurprisingly, GROB says its program -- and the airplane's performance -- continues to progress according to plans. So far, total test flights have numbered 46 since the new design first flew in July 2005. Tests have focused on "flight dynamics and performance, and included forward centre of gravity (CG) tests, initial Vmca flights, airflow visualization and tests of the airbrake and trim system," the company added. A second copy of the new jet is scheduled to join the flight-test program early next year.

In its update, GROB said the jet's flight envelope has been expanded to allow testing of stability and controllability at extreme forward centers of gravity (CG) and up to 250 KIAS. Additionally, preliminary testing is completed for heavy and lightweight landing and takeoff performance, all-engines and single-engine climb performance, mid-aft CG envelope expansion and pitot-static calibrations. Test cards scheduled for the near future include full stalls, engine-out minimum control airspeed, flutter, airframe icing and landing gear loads.