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Personal Fighter Design Gets Press

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A new two-seat personal aircraft program announced by a former Air Force pilot and inspired by military fighter jets is winning attention on the internet, which, so far, is the only place the aircraft, the Saker S-1, exists. In announcing the aircraft, program leader Sean Gillette said the jet will have: a 0.95 Mach cruise, a maximum altitude of 45,000 feet, a best range of 1,600 nm, operating costs estimated at $2.00 per nm, and will cost civilian owners less than $6 million to acquire. The program aims to succeed where at least three other manufacturers that produced thematically similar designs failed to see significant commercial success. Gillette has offered a timeline, and says he may soon have funding to reach his goals.

Funding to build prototypes and see the Saker S-1 program through prototyping and certification is nearly secured, according to Gillette. The jet program is reminiscent of those forged by the BD-10 (video), the Viperjet, and the ATG Javelin, all of which saw public interest but little commercial success. Pilots were killed testing the BD-10 and aircraft that evolved from its design. Gillette's jet design is bigger than any of those aircraft. It aims to employ two Williams FJ44 turbofans and weigh in at 11,500 MTOW. Gillette is using AirBoss Aerospace, a veteran of the Javelin jet program, as his design team and says they are finished with preliminary design work. According to his best-case planning, Gillette says we could see the Saker S-1 certified and delivered prior to 2020.

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