Rough Field Capability Attracts Grob Customers
There aren't many bizjets with short, unimproved field capability, and that's what attracted PlaneSense to the Grob spn. The fractional arm of New Hampshire-based Alpha Aviation has ordered 25 Grob spn business jets and hopes to have the first one by the end of next year. The company was founded in 1996 and found a niche fractional market by offering shares in Pilatus PC-12 turboprop singles, which can get in and out of a lot places many aircraft can't and pack two tons while doing it. PlaneSense founder George Antoniadis said some customers wanted to go faster but didn't want to give up the flexibility they enjoyed with the PC-12.
"Since PlaneSense share owners have grown accustomed to the time savings realized by operations into smaller general aviation airports, we needed an aircraft that would be the 'PC-12 of the jets,'" Antoniadis said. The carbon-fiber Grob offers 3,000-foot balanced field performance and it's comfortable on the grass but that doesn't mean it's unsophisticated. It's the launch customer for Honeywell's new Primus Apex glass avionics suite, features a Porsche-designed cockpit and will cruise at 41,000 feet at 415 knots with a range of 1,800 nm.