3:53 PM

VLJs not the only
new thing in the air

Sexy is a word that we pilots use often when looking at aircraft such as the RT-700 from start-up Aviation Technologies International in Orange County, CA.

According to the company, the RT-700 is a high-performance, pressurized piston twin that will be fast, spacious and fuel-efficient.

Keyword here folks is…piston.

This is not a jet, it will get its power from a pair of either Teledyne Continental TSIO-550A's or 360hp six-cylinder diesel engines being developed by French manufacturer SMA. And according to the manufacturer, the ultra sexy RT will go faster, further and higher than anything in its class…that is if there IS anything else in its class.

Ravi Tripuraneni, founder and president of ATI promises a first look later this year:

The redesign will be completed in the third quarter [in 2006] and a mock-up of the aircraft, which is targeted at the business and air-taxi markets, will be rolled out at October’s NBAA convention in Orlando.
Here are some features and specifications being bounced around the ATI website:
Advanced Technology
Liquid cooled, Single lever FADEC controlled engines
Flat Panel Avionics
Advanced Aerodynamic Design
2 in cabin baggage access locations
Refreshment/Entertainment Center
Belted Potty
42 gallons per hour at cruise
2000 hr. TBO engines
Option of lower cost fuels
Low cost per seat mile
Close coupled engines
25 G seats
Aircraft Recovery System
303 m.p.h cruise speed
2000 f.p.m. climb
1250 n.m. + reserves (max. range)
30,000 feet ceiling
Ramp appeal, check. Speed, check. Price? Well, we’ll see about that. In a world about to be flooded with VLJ hardware, this design ought to throw quite an interesting (and did I mention sexy) twist into the 2007 business aircraft sales picture.

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