Aerostar, based in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, has unveiled plans for a new business jet based on the Aerostar airframe that was produced between 1969-1981 at Oshkosh. The company, which currently refurbishes the high performance piston twin, is planning to both retrofit and build new jets using the PW615 engine. With engines mounted under wing, this aircraft has a unique appeal, looking like a mini airliner. New aircraft are expected to priced in the $2.5 million range.
Originally designed by Ted Smith for jet power, the Aerostar airframe is ideal for higher performance engines. To date, the prototype has flown at 340 knots at 28,000 feet, and has an approach speed of 120 kts, similar to the piston models. The aircraft will be capable of over 400 knots in cruise, but the high speed elements of the test envelope have not been explored in early flights.
Here’s a video of the prototype taking off: Aerostar Jet Prototype Take-Off
The aircraft is certainly quite striking, and should be a relative bargain given its cabin size and high speed performance.