Embraer, Grob Request Part 23 Commuter Approval For Jets

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On January 30, the FAA said both Embraer and Grob filed to seek Part 23 commuter category certification status for specific jet lines born of their stables. And so, the twist: under FAR 23.3(d), the commuter category is currently limited to, "propeller-driven, multiengine airplanes that have a seating configuration, excluding pilot seats, of 19 or less, and a maximum certificated takeoff weight of 19,000 pounds or less." But the manufacturers' move is not without precedent Sino Swearingen received Part 23 commuter category approval for its SJ30 twinjet in late 2005. Embraer is seeking commuter certification for its Phenom 300 (due in 2009) twin turbofan, which would serve otherwise as an eight-seat business jet including a refreshment center and lavatory. Grob's Part 23 commuter category petition seeks certification for its six-passenger G180 SPn twinjet still in testing. Grob touts the SPn as "a new class of aircraft combining the versatility and robust short-field performance of a turboprop with the comfort, elegance and superior cruise speed of a genius luxury jet." European certification for the Grob is expected in early 2008, with FAA certification to follow. Embraer aims to deliver Phenom 300's in 2009.