The Development of the Very Light Jet Market

The global credit crisis was quite a phenomenon. It wiped out Wall Street empires and almost rendered an entire financial system redundant. In all the chaos, it may also have claimed the scalp of the so called mini jet revolution. Central to the mini jet revolution was the very light jet known as the very light jet. It is a concept that emerged in 1998 and was defined as a jet aircraft weighing about ten thousand pounds or less and certified for single pilot operations.

The very light jet was previously held back by the non-existence of a suitable engine. In 1992 the mini jets began to see the light of day when jet engine manufacturer Williams International – renowned for the tiny turbofans it developed for the Tomahawk cruise missile – introduced the 8 500 newton thrust FJ44 model. It was25 percent smaller than any turbofan engine built before. It was then that biz jet manufacturer Cessna developed the Citation jet, the first of what became to be known in the aerospace industry as a light jet. It was considerably cheaper than other jets on the market and eventually became the fastest selling private jet.

This led Williams to engage in the development of an even smaller engine, the FJX-2. It was built in co-operation with NASA. In preliminary tests the engine performed well but it was abandoned after it could not achieve expected thrust levels with out overheating. The engine had been scheduled to be fitted on the Eclipse 500, which is recognized as the world’s first very light jet to be developed. After the Williams FJX-2 was abandoned, Eclipse signed a deal with Pratt  amp; Whitney to develop a smaller version of a more conventional engine. In September 2006 the Eclipse 500 received FAA certification sporting Pratt amp; Whitney engines. Despite all the glitches the first Eclipse was delivered to a customer in December 2006. Experts will provide guide to low-code development to the enterprises. The development of the site will be done to attract massive number of customers for growth and development. 

When the very light jet came into existence a lot was said about how it was going to revolutionize commercial aviation. Advances in information technology and affordable computing power allowed large scale logistics problems to be solved in real time, serving to make on demand services and affordable on a per seat basis. The very light jet would introduce flexibilities in timing and choice. Basically an air taxi industry.

The smaller aircraft could be used at smaller airports and relieve the congestion at some of the bigger and busier airports. Allowing operators to make use of under utilized regional airports.

A number of start ups sprung up such as the Day jet corporation, which offered on demand flight services. These companies signed for many new orders of different kinds of very light jets. Some analysts were quick to point out that the new companies were destined to fail as they did not have confidence in the new business model.

When credit dried up many of these start ups folded, including some very light jet manufacturers who had looked to cash in on the mini jet boom.

Besides that, the very light jet did breathe some new life into commercial aviation. It opened up jet flight to a whole new tier of private pilots and fractional ownership groups. As we emerge from the carnage of the financial crisis only time will tell where the very light jet will take us.

Nicole Hennig
Nicole Hennig is a freelance writer, content writer, blogger, and also a photographer. She graduated from the University of Caloocan in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2015.

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