SJ30-2 Completes Airframe Icing Tests

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Sino Swearingen Aircraft Corporation (SSAC) last week announced completion of another major milestone before starting deliveries of its SJ30-2 business jet: completion of airframe icing tests. According to the company, the final flight test was completed on March 1 and included simulating a 45-minute hold in maximum continuous icing conditions. The flight was crewed by Mark Fairchild, John Siemens and Schuyler Horn. After the flight, test pilot Siemens said, “The airplane performed remarkably well in the extreme icing conditions we encountered. It ... performed better in the ice than any other airplane I have previously certified for flight in known icing conditions.” In February, the flight test crew completed artificial ice shapes testing, required to demonstrate aircraft handling characteristics, including stability, control and stall characteristics, with simulated ice attached to the airframe.

Last October, SSAC announced FAA Type Certification for the SJ30, and that two hurdles remained before the initial delivery to a customer. With completion of the in-flight icing tests, only approval of the aircraft’s interior is holding up the type's full FAA approval. The SJ30 is equipped with electrically heated windshields and uses engine bleed air to heat the wings and engine inlets. Pneumatic boots are used to de-ice the horizontal tail. The approval flight resulted in a build-up of more than four inches of ice on unprotected areas of the aircraft. The SJ30-2 will fit into the light jet category once certified. It is projected to have a range of over 2,500 nm and feature the highest cruise speed in the category: Mach 0.83. It will be certified for single-pilot operation.