The innovative Jetcruzer 500 is designed to be a high speed low cost single engine corporate turboprop and is the product of California based Advanced Aerodynamics and Structures Inc (AASI).
The Jetcruzer 500 is based on the smaller, unpressurised Jetcruzer 450. Early design work for what would become the Jetcruzer 450 began in 1983. Construction of an Allison 250-C20S powered prototype began in 1988. It flew for the first time on January 11 1989.
The preproduction prototype first flew April 1991, and the first production standard Jetcruzer 450 on September 13 1992. When FAA Part 23 certification was granted on June 14 1994 the Jetcruzer became the first aircraft in the world to be certificated as spin resistant.
AASI elected not to place the 450 into production and instead focused its efforts on the pressurised 500. Initial work was on the 500P, which featured a modest 25cm (10in) fuselage stretch, but AASI instead decided to enlarge the design further. The definitive Jetcruzer features a 1.83m (6ft) fuselage stretch over the 450 (increasing cabin length by 90cm (3ft), plus a significantly more powerful PT6A66 turboprop driving a five (rather than three) blade prop, pressurisation to 30,000ft, an airstair entry door on the right hand side and additional cabin windows.
First flight of the prototype 500 (the modified preproduction prototype 450) was in August 22 1997, followed by the second prototype (the modified production 450) on November 7 1997.
Other notable Jetcruzer 500 design features include its canard configuration (which allows the main wing to be positioned further aft than normal, so the wing spars do not intrude into the cabin), lack of flaps (reducing pilot work load and manufacturing costs and saving weight), and optional EFIS avionics. Like the 450 the 500 will be certificated as spin resistant. The fuselage is made from composites while the wing and canard are aluminium.
On February 8 2002, AASI announced that it was taking over the Mooney assets, and that the name Mooney would be used for the combined companies. Headquarters, development, and marketing would remain at AASI's facility at Long Beach in California, but production of the Jetcruzer would be at Mooney's Kerrville, Texas plant.
The company is also working on the Stratocruzer 1250, a 13 place twin WilliamsRolls FJ-44 powered light corporate jet development.
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