Stratos 716X, the experimental, kit-built version of the upcoming FAR Part 23/EASA CS 23-certified Stratos 716, is making its first public appearance at EAA AirVenture 2021, which takes place in Oshkosh, Wisconsin from 26 July to 1 August. The 1,500 nm range 716 gets its name from its 0.7 Mach/402 kts cruise speed, single turbofan engine and six-seat cabin. It will cruise at 41,000 ft, far above most clouds, weather and turbulence.
“People want the high-altitude speed, quiet and smoothness of a jet. But, up until now, many of them have been priced out of the top end of the market,” says Carsten Sundin, Stratos Aircraft president and chief technology officer. “They've had to settle for prop airplanes that typically fly 10,000 to 15,000 ft lower and 100 to 150 kts slower than modern jets. At Stratos, our goal is to lower the cost of owning and operating a jet to turboprop levels.”
The Stratos experimental 716X is a stepping stone to the Stratos certified 716. It conforms to the same precise aerodynamic loft contours, and it's built to the same strength standards as the certified model. Starting in 2022, Stratos will offer 10 to 12 716X kits that will help the firm refine its manufacturing processes and assembly line efficiencies that will be needed for high-rate production of certified aircraft in the future. The $2.5 million 716X will offer 95 per cent of the performance of the 716, but cost $1 million less. The 716X comes complete with a freshly, overhauled, 3,600-hour TBO PWC JT15D5 turbofan and a full suite of Garmin 3X avionics. It can be ready to fly in as little as nine months, using Stratos' builder-assist affiliate firms.
Stratos is a Redmond, Oregon, composite aircraft manufacturer having the long term goal of building the most affordable, certified personal jet aircraft. The firm is located in central Oregon, a region that has become a centre of excellence for manufacturing certified general aviation aircraft, including the Lancair Columbia series and Epic E1000. Stratos continues to make major investments in its manufacturing facility, including a computer design centre, production-grade composites moulds, high-temperature curing oven, full-service machine shop, static test fixtures and flight test hangars.