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CHAPTER 2 The New Generation of GA Aircraft VLJs Currently in Production 2.1 VLJ Aircraft Programs New generation GA aircraft can be pistons, turboprops, or jets, although most attention has focused on the VLJ category. VLJs are generally defined as advanced technology jet airplanes weigh- ing less than 10,000 pounds that seat three to six passengers. These aircraft typically have cruise speeds of 300+ knots and a nominal range of 1,100 to 1,400 miles. For many airport operators, one of the most exciting benefits of VLJs is their short-field capability, which could open a new class of general aviation airports to jet operations. Cessna Citation Mustang Source: Wikimedia Commons In addition to VLJs, there are other new generation aircraft with piston or turboprop engines Juergen Lehle (, 2007 that have either glass cockpits or are made using composite materials, or both. Although these air- craft also bring new capabilities to the market and offer substantial improvements for existing classes of aircraft, VLJs are a new class of aircraft, especially in terms of the types of airports a jet can now use. Thus, this guidebook focuses primarily on providing information to airport opera- tors on accommodating the new class of VLJ aircraft, with areas noted that will also improve accommodations for other new generation aircraft. As discussed in Chapter 1, new VLJ aircraft are anticipated to be used primarily for business functions, such as private, corporate, and air taxi service, although some single-engine programs Embraer Phenom 100 target the personal market. Within the air taxi segment, VLJs have generated an interest in new Source: business models such as serving smaller communities through chartered air taxi or per-seat on-demand flights. Other New Generation GA Aircraft The existing capability of airports to accommodate VLJ aircraft is influenced by both the mis- sion of the VLJ aircraft anticipated to use the airport and the current level of activity by larger GA aircraft. Table 2-1 summarizes the VLJ development programs that have reached the flight testing phase or beyond and have a reasonable probability of reaching production status. For those air- craft not yet in production, the expected certification dates should be viewed with caution because EADS Socata TBM-850 turboprop every one of the manufacturers is being adversely affected by the recent major downturn in the Source: Wikimedia Commons global economy. Other VLJ programs are still under development, but either have not reached the David Monniaux, 2007 flight testing phase (e.g., Epic Elite and Spectrum S-40 Freedom), have been suspended (e.g., Adam A700), or whose development programs appear to be delayed (e.g., Cirrus Vision SF50 and Spectrum S-33 Independence). VLJ aircraft weigh between 5,000 and 10,000 pounds, the heavi- est ones being the Embraer Phenom 100 and the HondaJet. Table 2-2 summarizes the exterior dimensions and takeoff weights. Cessna/Columbia 400 piston Source: Wikimedia Commons David Monniaux, 2007 2.2 How New Generation Aircraft Compare As noted earlier, this guidebook is intended to be relevant for all new generation aircraft, from single-engine pistons and turboprops up through VLJs and light jets. Within the VLJ segment itself, 8