Stratos Aircraft completed the first flight of its latest prototype, taking another step toward bringing the sleek 716X, a single-engine jet, to market. Powered by a Pratt & Whitney JT15D-5, the 716X will be offered as an experimental; however, Stratos designed the airplane with certification in mind. While the process has not yet begun, Stratos plans to also offer a certified 716.
Flown by test pilot Sean VanHatten, the Stratos 716X is a spacious six-place jet with generous space for baggage.
The flight is the first of an extensive flight test program that will span the next several months.
The Stratos jet has a targeted cruise speed of 400 knots. Several seating configurations will be offered, with ample space for up to six people. Pilots will have plenty of legroom as the flight deck is designed with a sidestick rather than a yoke.
“Over two years and countless hours from the dedicated professionals associated with this aircraft made sure it was an uneventful flight,” test pilot Sean VanHatten said after the 24-minute inaugural flight.
“The aircraft is well harmonized and its directional stability was very good. The Stratos Aircraft team should be very proud of this accomplishment, and I’m looking forward to continued flight testing of this new design.”
Stratos CTO Carsten Sundin said: “When we introduced the Proof of Concept 714 aircraft three years ago, the marketplace interest was tremendous.
“It was clear that the market is looking for the performance and comfort we were offering, but in a true six-place aircraft. We have achieved this with the 716X. 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 FAA 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.