Saturday, July 11, 2020

First flight of the Stratos 716X jet

Stratos Aircraft announced Friday the first flight of its Stratos 716X model – registration N716X. The flight lasted 22 minutes. Flown by test pilot Sean VanHatten, the Stratos 716X is a spacious six-person jet. The all-carbon airframe, single-engine jet is designed to cruise at 400 knots. The first flight was a full power takeoff and climb to 13,500 feet.  A series of maneuvers were then conducted to evaluate handling characteristics. The flight is the first of an extensive flight test program that will span the next several months.

The 716X is 4.5 ft longer, and has a wider cabin, than the 714 Proof of Concept aircraft introduced at Oshkosh in 2017. The 716X features trailing link gear, a Pratt & Whitney JT15D-5 turbofan engine and is configured with dual G3X screens, GTN 750 MFD, integrated Garmin Autopilot, dual standby attitude indicators, custom switch panels, fully automated pressurization system, and air conditioning. The Stratos 716X is a "multi-role" Very Light Jet designed to comfortably seat six people to support personal, business, and air taxi use.

“When we introduced the Proof of Concept 714 aircraft three years ago, the marketplace interest was tremendous," said Stratos CTO, Carsten Sundin. "It was clear that the market is looking for the performance and comfort we were offering, but in a true six-place aircraft. With a cabin width of 4.9 ft and height of 4.8 ft, there is plenty of room for passengers to relax on long flights.”

The Stratos 716X will be offered as an experimental kit build aircraft while the 716 will be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration for production. "We see producing a limited number of kit aircraft as a logical step towards certification.  It will allow customers who don't want to wait for the 716 certification an opportunity to own and operate a Stratos 716X much sooner, while we continue to develop our production processes," said Sundin.

Test pilot Sean VanHatten has over 5,300 hours, with over 120 hours in the Stratos Proof of Concept 714. Sean has performed 19 first flights and flown four prototype aircraft.

Stratos Aircraft has invested significantly to support the production of the Stratos 716 and 716X. Their facilities total over 41,000 square feet in Redmond, Oregon.

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