Redmond, Oregon-based Stratos Aircraft is making final arrangements for the next two customer deliveries of its revolutionary $2.95-million 716X, the world’s fastest, highest flying and longest range experimental, amateur-built jet. Stratos’ goal is to slash the cost of owning and operating personal jets to that of single-engine turboprops. Customer interest is climbing as Stratos reaches major milestones near the completion of its flight test campaign.
“In May, Sean Van Hatten, our chief test pilot repeatedly flew the aircraft to FL 410. We’ve now completed flight envelope expansion, flutter tests and RVSM precision altitude holding tests. We’ve also flown it as fast as 380 KTAS and verified that the aircraft is free of Mach buffet in wind-up turns at the highest cruise altitudes,” says Carsten Sundin, Stratos Aircraft president and CEO. More than 150 flights have been completed thus far to verify longitudinal stability and control, slow flight including stall behavior, and performance.
The 716X gets its name from its 0.70 maximum Mach operating speed, single turbofan engine and six-seat interior. The X means that it’s experimental. And while it’s amateur-built, Stratos engineers, technicians and craftsman will carefully supervise every step from lay-up of the first ply of carbon pre-preg cloth until its final post construction flight test.
“The purchase of each Stratos 716X comes with an extensive builder assistance program. We’ve made great progress on setting up for guiding our next customers through the entire build process. We’ve invested in building precision construction and assembly fixtures, most with ±0.003-inch tolerances, about as thick as a human hair. This will give builders the confidence that their aircraft will deliver on Stratos’ promises for construction quality, aircraft durability and performance fidelity,” says Matthew Collier, Stratos Aircraft production manager.
The 716X aircraft package is delivered as five groups of components and assemblies through the Stratos Aircraft subsidiary Stratos Fusion, provider of all components and builder’s assistance support. Builders complete each of the first three groups under the close supervision of Stratos Fusion in Redmond, Oregon. The fourth and fifth groups are finished at one of Stratos Authorized Completion Centers. The 716X build package includes a freshly overhauled, 2,965 lbf thrust Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-5 turbofan and a complete Garmin G3X avionics package. Estimated build time for early serial number aircraft is 12 to 15 months. The $2.95-million price can vary based upon options and cosmetic upgrades.
Stratos Aircraft’s press conference is scheduled for 10:00 AM, Monday July 25th, 2022 at the EAA Press Center. Stratos is exhibiting its 716X amateur built experimental jet at its new “Soar into the Stratos Sphere” display at Booths 15 and 16 on James Ray Boulevard, just northwest of the main entrance to AirVenture.