German company unveils its light jet

Germany’s Grob Aerospace has added yet another bird to the burgeoning flock of light jets on the market.

Long a builder of notably innovative airplanes, Grob caught the aviation world by surprise at the Paris Air Show in June when it sprung the brand new light twin jet on its competitors.

It doesn’t have a fancy name. It’s called the G 180 SPn Utlility Jet, which sounds very utilitarian, indeed. The single pilot, nine passenger (or two pilots, eight passengers), all-carbon-fiber jet is pushed at 375 knots (407 knots high speed cruise) by dual Williams FJ44-3A turbofans. It’s guided by a suite of Honeywell avionics. Grob says it will certify the G 180 first in Europe, with 2007 as its U.S. certification date. Certification will be to commuter airliner standards on both sides of the Atlantic.

Grob says the plane will have a range of 1,800 nm (1,670 with all seats full) and, interestingly, a balanced field length of 3,000 feet. Landing distance is specified at 2,950 feet. Grob says the G 180 is designed to operate from unimproved runways. Chief among its competitors are Sino Swearingen, also expecting certification in 2007, and Embraer, which recently announced its own light and very light jets.

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