SyberJet Aircraft appears to be nearing initial flight of its new SJ30i light business jet. The company is applying final touches to the SJ30i flight test aircraft, which is an existing SJ30-2 model (S/N 005) that has been converted to the new SJ30i configuration. Program plans have called for certification and initial deliveries of the SJ30i to occur by the end of 2020.
The SJ30i is the latest version of the SJ30 light jet, which has had a lengthy history. Originally designed by Ed Swearingen in the 1980s, the program has gone through several changes of ownership in the years since. The SJ30-2 version was granted type certification by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2005. Subsequently, however, only four production SJ30-2 aircraft were produced and delivered to customers. In 2011, SyberJet, at the time known as MT LLC, purchased the assets of Emivest Aerospace, which was then the manufacturer of the SJ30.
An upgraded version of the SJ30-2, the SJ30i is equipped with a new glass cockpit called SyberVision. The new cockpit features core avionics supplied by Honeywell (based on the Primus Epic 2.0 system), and includes up to four 12-inch liquid crystal displays. Standard items include the SmartView synthetic vision system (SVS), the INAV moving map display system, dual flight management systems, and onboard weather radar. The SJ30i is powered by FJ44-2A engines, and also features a new interior.
The SJ30i is essentially an interim model, as SyberJet intends to quickly follow it with a re-engined variant called the SJ30x. Five incomplete aircraft inherited from Emivest are to be completed as SJ30i models. The aircraft include S/Ns 009, 011, 012, 013, and 014. Under current plans, these five aircraft, plus S/N 005 (which will eventually be sold on the pre-owned market), are to constitute the SJ30i fleet.
The initial SJ30x is to be SN 015, which would also be the first aircraft built entirely by SyberJet. It is slated to take to the air in mid-2020. Certification and service entry of the SJ30x have been planned for 2021. Compared to the SJ30i, the SJ30x features longer range, greater payload, and more powerful Williams FJ44-3AP-25 engines.
The SJ30i and SJ30x are positioned in the light jet segment of the business jet market, where their sales competition includes such aircraft as the Cessna CJ3+ and the Embraer Phenom 300E. Taking on such established manufacturers as Cessna and Embraer in a market known for strong brand loyalty will be a formidable task for a new player such as SyberJet. However, customers willing to trade cabin space for performance could well give the new SJ30 models ample consideration.