gothamspotter
Posts: 311
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 1:54 pm

Mini-Jets Set To Revolutionize Aviation

Wed May 23, 2007 8:02 am

A new class of aircraft known as Very Light Jets (VLJs) is close to takeoff and could result in a giant leap forward in private aviation. The sub-10,000 lb planes carry 2 to 6 passengers (plus 2 pilots) up to 450 mph and as high as airliner altitudes of 41,000 feet. The price range: only $1.5 to $4 million, which is about half that of a current entry-level biz-jet.

Popular Mechanics examines the advances in engine technology that make these low-cost fliers possible — the Diamond D-Jet, for example, uses a derivative of the ultra-high thrust-to-weight ratio engine found in Tomahawk cruise missiles. Also, a break down of the offerings from giants Cessna and Embraer, the notable HondaJet, and others from smaller concerns such as Eclipse Aviation.

The theoretical next step: the Extremely Light Jet, which could carry 2 passengers 250 mph for the price of a Bentley.
 
airfrnt
Posts: 2002
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2004 2:05 am

RE: Mini-Jets Set To Revolutionize Aviation

Wed May 23, 2007 8:05 am

Quoting GothamSpotter (Thread starter):
A new class of aircraft known as Very Light Jets (VLJs) is close to takeoff and could result in a giant leap forward in private aviation. The sub-10,000 lb planes carry 2 to 6 passengers (plus 2 pilots) up to 450 mph and as high as airliner altitudes of 41,000 feet. The price range: only $1.5 to $4 million, which is about half that of a current entry-level biz-jet.

Popular Mechanics examines the advances in engine technology that make these low-cost fliers possible — the Diamond D-Jet, for example, uses a derivative of the ultra-high thrust-to-weight ratio engine found in Tomahawk cruise missiles. Also, a break down of the offerings from giants Cessna and Embraer, the notable HondaJet, and others from smaller concerns such as Eclipse Aviation.

The theoretical next step: the Extremely Light Jet, which could carry 2 passengers 250 mph for the price of a Bentley.

If the air taxi movement is viable, these will be the planes that prove it out one way or another. I am interested in the concept here, I think it might be the next step of fragmentation, but the CASM disadvantages and manpower shortage may keep these from being as popular as they might have been say 20 or 30 years ago.
 
SANChaser
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 5:36 am

RE: Mini-Jets Set To Revolutionize Aviation

Wed May 23, 2007 8:29 am

I have been following the Eclipse 500 for the past couple of years totally out of curiosity - their low point was the failure of the original engines and then the meltdown of the avionics deal. They seem to be finally getting their act together - they have 2000 frames on order!

The build process is unique in the aviation industry.

They also have extensive marketing literature, focused on economics:
http://www.eclipseaviation.com/files/pdf/Economics.pdf

If this holds water (operating costs of $372/hr) then its quite viable as a business model, specially in the dense metro areas and vacation spots (flying between NoCal and SoCal could be revolutionized)

I wish them success  Smile
 
Boeing7E7
Posts: 5512
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2004 9:35 pm

RE: Mini-Jets Set To Revolutionize Aviation

Wed May 23, 2007 9:16 am

Quoting GothamSpotter (Thread starter):
A new class of aircraft known as Very Light Jets (VLJs) is close to takeoff and could result in a giant leap forward in private aviation.

They had a chance when they were being developed and gas was half what it is today. Popular Mechanics is far from your best source on aviation economics.
 
gothamspotter
Posts: 311
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 1:54 pm

RE: Mini-Jets Set To Revolutionize Aviation

Thu May 24, 2007 12:49 am

Regardless of the poor business model of air taxis (I'm not even sure why that was even included in this article), I think the implications of this technology in terms of bringing private flying within the reach of many more people are enormous.
 
futurecaptain
Posts: 1918
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 1:54 am

RE: Mini-Jets Set To Revolutionize Aviation

Thu May 24, 2007 2:23 am

It's now up to the FAA IMO whether or not "mini-jets" will have any kind of impact on private travel. Firstly to even take your jet up to the altitudes where it is efficient to fly you need at least a pilots license with an instrument rating, which equals money and time, lots of it. If the FAA imposes any kind of user fees it could get to the point where these small jets, in terms of total money spent to be able to fly them, don't look quite as attractive.
AirSO. ASpaceO. ASOnline. ASO.com ASO. ASO. ASO. ASO. ASO.
 
lvhgel
Posts: 118
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2007 5:30 am

RE: Mini-Jets Set To Revolutionize Aviation

Thu May 24, 2007 8:11 am

Quoting GothamSpotter (Thread starter):
(plus 2 pilots)

I understand that they will be certified for a one pilot crew

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 3):
Popular Mechanics is far from your best source on aviation economics.

 checkmark 
If it were for an issue I read in the 70s I should be parking an aero car in my garage and not the old battered Volvo.

Quoting GothamSpotter (Reply 4):
the poor business model of air taxis

I would say Air Taxis is not a poor business model, is the worst business model in aviation, better to haul cargo in an old bird, than keep "yellow cabs with wings" parked waiting for customers. Some one said to me "so not to loose money I keep´em flying"