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Aero-TV: Stratos 716X Jet Defies Convention

Oregon Company Seeks to Redefine Jet Set

Developed by an engineering team comprising veterans of aircraft design and certification programs at Bombardier, Cessna, Icon, Piper, SyberJet, Epic, Glasair, Kestrel, and Lancair, Redmond, Oregon-based Stratos Aircraft’s 716X affords owners/pilots the satisfaction of building a high-performance experimental jet that—though ineligible for certification as a normal category airplane—meets the requirements of FAR Part 23.2005 Level 2 [2 to 6 occupants], high-speed airplanes [VMO >250 KCAS or MMO >0.6 Mach].

The 716’s moniker derives of the aircraft’s planned cruise-speed of 0.7 Mach, it’s single 2,965-lbf Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D5 turbofan engine, and six-seat configuration. Ergo, 716. The 716X concept was unveiled at EAA’s AirVenture 2018. On 02 July 2020, a prototype made a 22 minute maiden flight from Redmond, Oregon, climbing to 13,500-feet and landing without incident.

The 716X’s design features a 198-square-foot, non-swept, cantilever low-wing spanning 41.5-feet; winglets; a cruciform empennage; and a retractable, trailing-link, tricycle undercarriage. The 41.1-foot-long airframe is built from Toray pre-preg carbon composites and nomex honeycomb sandwich—excepting the aft-center section which consists of a fairing-covered moly steel cage which supports the turbofan powerplant and provides shielding in the event of an uncontained engine failure. The aircraft—after the fashion of Airbus’s and Dassault’s latest offerings—is flown via sidesticks.

The 716X is projected to have maximum gross takeoff and landing weights of 8,580-pounds and 8,147-pounds respectively, and a maximum payload of 1,395-pounds. At its service ceiling of FL410, the 716X’s 8.5-psi maximum pressure-vessel differential pressure ought facilitate a 7,600-foot cabin altitude.

Stratos claims the 716X will demonstrate Vx and Vy climb speeds of 104 and 147-KIAS, and a Vso stall-speed of 72-KIAS. The aircraft’s range with maximum payload is projected to be 1,034-nautical-miles. All available data for the 716X is preliminary and subject to change.

Stratos Aircraft president and chief technology officer Carsten Sundin states: “At Stratos, our goal is to lower the cost of owning and operating a jet to turboprop levels. The initial price tag for the 716X is $2.5 million and the certified version [which the company seeks to eventually offer as a factory-built, turnkey airplane] is expected to add an additional $1 million. Whether the company can get through certification and still maintain that price remains to be seen. The target for certification is 2028, but it’s entirely funding dependent.”

Aero-TV is a production of the Internationally syndicated Aero-News Network. Seen worldwide by hundreds of thousands of aviators and aviation adherents, ANN's Aero-TV has produced over 5000 aviation and feature programs, including nearly 2000 episodes of our daily aviation news program, AIRBORNE UNLIMITED, currently hosted by Holland Lee. Now in its third decade of operation, parent company Aero-News Network, has the most aggressive and intensive editorial profile of any aviation news organization and has published nearly a half-million news and feature stories since its inception -- having pioneered the online 24/7 aviation new-media model that so many have emulated.

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