Updated: Apr 10
The Comp Air Jet is the subject of the aviation history blog for today as it made its first flight on this day in aviation history in 2004.
The Comp Air Jet is a design for a home-built single-engine light jet designed by Comp Air. The project was launched in 2002 by the owners of Aerocomp, what is now CompAir, Mr Steve Young and Mr Ron Lueck. It featured a carbon-fibre based pressurised fuselage with a capacity to carry 7 passengers and be operated by a single pilot. The aircraft is powered by an Ivchenko AI-25 engine of Ukrainian origin.
The Ivchenko AI-25 family of jet engines is a family of twin shaft, medium by-pass (2.0 : 1) turbofan engines. It was initially designed for the 3 engined Yakovlev Yak-40 tri-jet airliner in the mid-sixties of the 20th century. It ha seen use in various aircraft and more the 93oo of these engines have been built Eleven variants have been developed over the years with licensed manufacturing taking place in China. Alternative engines from Pratt & Whitney, Williams International or Agilis were planned as optional engines, but never saw use in the Comp Air Jet.
For its first flight, 17 years ago, the aircraft took off from Merritt Island Airport (Florida, USA) for a 37 minute test flight. With the gear extended the aircraft reached a maximum speed during the test flight of 157 knots. A total of 30 test flght hours were made with the aircraft from Space Coast Regional Airport, Titusville, Florida before it was ferried back to Merrit Islan Airport. It remains the sole registered CompAir Jet Aircraft. Some specifications for the Com Air Jet:
Capacity: seven passengers
Length: 35 ft 0 in (10.67 m)
Wingspan: 44 ft 0 in (13.41 m)
Wing area: 297 sq ft (27.6 m2)
Powerplant: 1 × Ivchenko AI-25 , 3,500 hp (2,600 kW) for take-off
Cruise speed: 350 kn (400 mph, 650 km/h)
Stall speed: 62 kn (71 mph, 114 km/h)
Range: 1,430 nmi (1,650 mi, 2,660 km)
Rate of climb: 2,000 ft/min (10 m/s)