Stratos Will Bring VLJ Mock-Up To Oshkosh

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So far, start-up companies aiming to build very light jets have found the going tough (the now-defunct Eclipse Aviation and Adam Aircraft, for example), but that isn't stopping newer companies whose leaders believe they have a better idea. One of those is Stratos Aircraft, a Bend, Ore., company that is moving forward with its concept of a very light personal jet, the Stratos 714, which it announced last May. The four-seat single-engine jet will go 1,500 nm at 400 knots, and it will be easy to manufacture, easy to fly, and easy to maintain, the company says. A full-scale cabin mock-up will be ready for display at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh later this month. "The full-size mock-up clearly demonstrates the level of roominess and comfort we are aiming to achieve," said CEO Michael Lemaire. "No amount of blueprints or renderings can replace actually sitting in the cabin." Company officials also will use the opportunity to gather feedback that can be incorporated into the final design.

The jet will sell for about $2 million, according to the company's Web site. The company now is trying to raise $12 million to build two prototypes, and then find another $100 million to get the airplane certified and start production, according to the Bend Bulletin. Fully refundable deposits of $50,000 are now being accepted, the company says.