SyberJet Aircraft
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SyberJet Aircraft

August 25, 2019

SyberJet Aircraft is the manufacturer of
the SJ30 light business jet. The company’s headquarters is in Cedar City,
Utah adjacent to the Cedar City Regional Airport with additional engineering
offices and manufacturing, service, repair and fatigue test facilities near
and on the San Antonio International Airport in San Antonio, Texas.
Sino Swearingen Aircraft Company was the name of the original development company
for the SJ30. After a decade of aircraft development and ultimately receiving the
Type Certification from the FAA, for the SJ30, SSAC was purchased in August 2008,
by Emirates Investment and Development Corporation and was renamed “Emivest
Aerospace Corporation.” In April 2011 the assets of Emivest Aerospace were
purchased by MT, LC of Cedar City, Utah, and in March 2011 the company began
doing business as SyberJet Aircraft. On 1 May 2014 SyberJet Aircraft held a
ground-breaking ceremony for a completion and delivery center to be
constructed adjacent to the Cedar City Regional Airport.
History Swearingen Aircraft was founded by Ed
Swearingen in 1959. Early work by the company included the development of
prototype aircraft for other manufacturers; such as the Twin Comanche
prototype developed for Piper Aircraft during 1962 and the development of
several research helicopters for the Bell Helicopter Company, work which led
to the HueyCobra. The company also developed modifications of other
designs, an activity Ed Swearingen had been involved in prior to his forming
Swearingen Aircraft. These modification programs included the Excalibur 800
conversion of the Beechcraft Twin Bonanza,; airframe improvements included
modifying the cabin to allow entry via an airstair instead of over the RH wing
to a door, and landing gear doors that fully enclosed the wheels when
retracted. The airstair was factory-fitted by Beechcraft during
manufacture of the ultimate J50 model of the Twin Bonanza. The Queen Air
development of the Twin Bonanza also received the Swearingen treatment, the
Queen Air Excalibur having less extensive modifications, also involving
fitting of 400 hp IO-720s, replacing the more troublesome and lower-power geared
Lycoming engines installed at manufacture, and the enclosed landing
gear doors. The United States Army had several of its U-8 versions of the Queen
Air modified to this standard. Excalibur aircraft are easily distinguishable from
standard Twin Bonanzas and Queen Airs by the landing gear doors and the more
rectangular engine cowlings of the Excaliburs compared to the rounded
cowlings of the originals. The Excaliburs led to the first
Swearingen design, the SA26 Merlin, which could be described as a
pressurized Excalibur. The Merlin had modified Queen Air wings with redesigned
fuel tanks, Queen Air horizontal tails, and Twin Bonanza landing gear. The
Merlin’s fuselage and vertical fin represented Swearingen’s contribution to
the overall design. The next step was turbine power, through the SA26-T Merlin
IIA with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6s and the follow-on SA26-AT Merlin IIB with
Garrett TPE331 turboprops. Next came the all-new SA226-T Merlin III with new
wings, landing gear and cruciform horizontal tail mated to a slightly
stretched version of the fuselage used on the Merlin II series. The design
effort reached its logical conclusion with the Metro series of 19-seat airline
aircraft, the first of which had its first flight on August 26, 1969. By this
time the company was in financial difficulties and lacked the resources to
proceed further, so the Metro did not enter production until Swearingen
Aircraft was taken over by Fairchild in 1972. The company was then renamed the
Swearingen Aviation Corporation with Ed Swearingen a 10% shareholder and
Chairman of the Board of directors. A total of 1,053 Merlins and Metros were
produced when production ended in 1998; 350 short-fuselage Merlins and 703
long-fuselage Merlins and Metros. In 1971 Piper Aircraft entered into
merger negotiations with Swearingen, but did not finalize the merger. In 1973 Ed
Swearingen formed a new company and went back to modifying aircraft, developing a
new version of the Lockheed Jetstar on behalf of the manufacturer and Garrett.
The modifications entailed installing new Garrett TFE731 engines and
aerodynamic improvements to the airframe, increasing the Jetstar’s range
from 1,800 nautical miles to 2,600 nautical miles with no increase in fuel
capacity. The company then manufactured jet engine nacelles and other aircraft
components as a subcontractor to various manufacturers including Cessna, Gates
Lear Jet and Dassault. On May 1, 1982 Ed Swearingen resigned from Fairchild and
exercised his right to reacquire the Swearingen business name. Fairchild
changed the name of Swearingen Aviation to Fairchild Aircraft Corporation and Ed
Swearingen’s company then became the Swearingen Aircraft Corporation.
The company devoted its energies to developing a new small jet for the
general aviation market, which was eventually developed into the SJ30-2.
The company was renamed Sino Swearingen in 1995 and it was converted into a
limited company from a partnership on November 5, 1999. Financial backers of
the company include the 經濟部 Ministry of Economic Affairs, – Government of
Taiwan. The company is privately held, and sales for 2005 are reported at
US$25.3 million. SSAC had spent over 12 years and over
US$700 million in total investment by 2008, when investors from Dubai were
introduced to Sino Swearingen by Action Aviation, Sino Swearingen’s largest
distributor. The Dubai-based company became the majority shareholder in Sino
Swearingen, with the Taiwanese government and private investors such as
Action Aviation taking minority stakes. The acquisition by the Dubai investors
followed the withdrawal from the sale in 2007 of SSAC’s former investor, ACQ
Capital, which was unable to proceed due to its exposure to the US sub-prime
market. A 17 September 2008 press release stated that the Dubai investors
would provide additional funding of up to $1 billion to help it design and
develop its second aircraft model. The SJ30 program was the first aircraft
program to successfully petition for and gain approval to certify as a Part 23
Commuter Category jet. In 1996 Sino Swearingen petitioned to certify as a
Commuter Category aircraft arguing that it was as safe, or safer than the
current Part 23 Commuter Category aircraft. At the time only the Fairchild
Metro 23 and the Beechcraft 1900D had been certified under these rules.
Approval of this request allowed the SJ30 program to exceed the 12,500 lbs
takeoff weight limit of Part 23 and paved the way for other companies to
follow the SJ30 lead. The SJ30 program was the first jet
aircraft company in over 30 years to develop, certify, and manufacture a
brand new jet aircraft. With all of it trials and tribulations, the SJ30
program showed why it is so difficult to build a company and develop and certify
an aircraft at the same time, thus demonstrating why no one else had done
it since Learjet. The SJ30 program was the first to fly
both the William’s FJ44-1 and FJ44-2A engine and was instrumental in
developing the engines with Williams International. Subsequent incorporation
of the engines at Cessna and Raytheon led to their CitationJet and Premier
aircraft, respectively. In keeping with Ed Swearingen’s vision
of a better light jet, the SJ30 was the first aircraft designed around a 12 psi
cabin for more comfort in the cabin. The 12 psi cabin results in a sea level
cabin through 41,000 ft and less than a 1,800 ft cabin at its ceiling of 49,000
ft. The 12 psi cabin was first demonstrated in flight by company pilots
on August 23, 2004. The original SJ30-1 prototype was on
display at the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, Texas when it was flooded
by Hurricane Ike. As proof of its speed and range
capability the SJ30 holds the following world’s records through the FAI/NAA:
Recognized Speed Over a Closed Course– San Antonio, Tx to Goose Bay, Canada
Recognized Speed Over a Closed Course – San Antonio, Tx to London, England
Recognized Speed Over a Closed Course – London, England to Dubai. UAE
In 2006, Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, the international
umbrella organization of the National Aeronautic Association awarded Sino
Swearingen Aircraft Corporation’s SJ30 the FAI Honorary Group Diploma.
Sino Swearingen was acquired by investors from Dubai in 2008. The
Dubai-based company became the majority shareholder in Sino Swearingen, with the
Taiwanese government and private investors taking minority stakes. The
company name was changed to the Emivest Aerospace Corporation.
On October 26, 2010, Emivest filed for bankruptcy after being unable to find
further funds to continue operations. On April 7, 2011, a judge approved sale
of Emivest assets to MT, LLC of Utah, an ownership group affiliated with
Metalcraft Technologies, Inc. of Cedar City, Utah, a parts supplier for the
SJ30. According to a news article, Emivest vice president Mark Fairchild
stated that according to his understanding, MT,LC planned to maintain
Emivest as a jet manufacturer, though he didn’t know any details.
On June 15, 2011, MT, LC, the Cedar City, Utah-based company that purchased
the assets of Emivest out of bankruptcy announced that the new company name
would be SyberJet Aircraft. SyberJet owns the SJ30 type certificate.
During and in support of the NBAA show SyberJet signs contract with Honeywell
International for the development and purchase of its APEX avionics platform
to be branded as SyberVisionR for the SJ30. In addition, SyberJet’s factory
Part 145 service center is appointed as a Williams International service
station. Honeywell was chosen for several
reasons, but the ability to get to market the quickest as well as their
more attractive financial model pushed the decision in their favor.
In June 2013 SyberJet announces a family of companies under the MSC Aerospace
brand. MSC Aerospace is a family of integrated and synergistic companies
with aerospace related operations. SyberJet Aircraft is the manufacturer of
the world’s fastest light jet, the SJ30. SyberJet assemblies major assemblies,
installs components, and systems, complete final assembly and production
ground and flight tests in Cedar City, Utah as well as offices that include
executive, finance, procurement, completions, and sales/marketing
offices. The Texas location provides engineering, flight test operations, and
flight training, as well as the location for the central repair station for
support of the SJ30 customer fleet. Cedar City also has a satellite repair
station location to support the West Coast customer fleet. Metalcraft
Technologies, Inc is another one of the MSC Aerospace companies which supports
the fabrication and assembly of detail aircraft parts and aero-structures for
leading aircraft manufacturers. In fact, MTI produced approximately 70% of the
sheet metal parts and assembled the aft fuselage on the SJ30 since 1997. Other
customers include Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Gulfstream, Middle River, Piper
Aircraft, and Cessna Aircraft.CBI Associates is the third member of the
MSC Aerospace family and is real estate development and management arm of MSC.
SyberJet announces final assembly location during press ceremonies in
Cedar City, Utah. The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development Board of
Directors and elected officials from Iron County and Cedar City have approved
financial incentives for MSC Aerospace and its subsidiaries SyberJet Aircraft
and Metalcraft Technologies totaling almost $45 million. MTI and SJA will use
these incentives to expand their manufacturing facilities in Cedar City,
Utah in support of the production of the SJ30 business jet.
References External links
Company website Company website
Distributor website

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