The new Dubai-based majority owners of Sino Swearingen Aircraft (SSAC) plan to relaunch the long-struggling U.S. business-jet manufacturer at next week´s NBAA show. According to interviews published in GulfNews, Emirates Investment & Development (Emivest) plans to pump about $ 1 billion into Texas-based SSAC.
The money will be used to ramp up production of the SJ30 light jet from a trickle to 100 aircraft a year withinin 18 months to two years, Emivest chairman Butti Saeed Al Ghandi told GulfNews. It will also allow SSAC to develop a second jet, he said.
Emivest agreed in June to acquire 80% of San Antonio-based Sino Swearingen from its Taiwan government backers. SSAC certificated the SJ30 in December 2005, almost 15 years after the first flight of the original SJ30-1 and nine years after the maiden flight of redesigned SJ30-2. Development and certification cost $ 700 million.
The first customer aircraft was delivered at the end of 2006, but SSAC has struggled with manufacturing and financing issues and according to Al Ghandi´s interview with GulfNews the company has delivered only 10 aircraft against a backlog of more than 250 orders.