SJ30 program traces its roots back to the late 1980s when aerospace pioneers Ed Swearingen and Sam Williams collectively began the light jet market. Ed had an idea of developing a small, fast jet that took advantage of the design sophistication of airline transport category aircraft and Sam wanted an application for his small, highly efficient jet engine that had proven so successful in military applications. By marrying these two design visions, they developed a jet that even after twenty years has no rivals in the area of aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. This was the idea that sparked the SJ30 to go faster, farther, and higher than any other light jet in the market today and for less cost.
Over the course of the development of the SJ30, the company has had its ups and downs. The SJ30 has had a wide variety of management and financial backing including ED Swearingen, Sam Williams, Gulfstream Aerospace, General Dynamics (now Lockheed-Martin), a collection of Taiwanese financial investors (Sino Swearingen), Emirate Investment Development Corporation PDC (Emivest Aerospace), and now the Utah, USA based investor/owners with SyberJet Aircraft.
One common theme has always stood out. The SJ30 is an incredible aircraft and deserves to be brought to market.
Throughout the years the SJ30 program has been the first in many respects, and while small in size it has led the industry in firsts. Below are just several of the key industry and SJ30 program milestones:
- 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 (since Learjet in 1963) 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.
- 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 (FAI), the international umbrella organization of the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) awarded Sino Swearingen Aircraft Corporation’s SJ30 the FAI Honorary Group Diploma.