The Very Light Jet (VLJ) was originally introduced in the late 1990’s ushered in by experimental designer Robert Bornhofen with his twin engine Maverick Jet. The concept of the VLJ occurred when jet engines were successfully reduced in size and thrust. The Maverick Twin Jet, which was flown successfully 6 years ahead of its offspring the single engine Sport Jet II and 6.5 years ahead of the now failed Eclipse 500 VLJ, was powered by modified helicopter jet engines. Keeping with the original spirit of the VLJ generally means any jet under 12,500 lbs with 4-6 seats maximum, and single pilot operated. Jet engine manufactures Williams and Pratt Whitney are the main suppliers of small jet engines though there are other small jet engines coming from eastern Europe.
Active certified VLJ’s cusping on the upper end of the VLJ category and lower entry level business jet include: Cessna Mustang, Embraer Pheonom 100, and the promised but not yet in production Honda Jet. Active experimental VLJ’s in development and or flying is the Sport Jet SJ-4. Suspended or cancelled VLJ projects include: Cirrus Jet, Diamond D, Adams A700, Maverick Twin, Piper Altaire, Saphire, ATG, Avocet, Century Jet, Eclipse 500, Epic, Spectrum and Stratos. Some these never actually flew but were concept jets only.
This forum will be open to anyone who wishes to ask questions regarding the come back of the Sport Jet SJ-4 and for those who wish to discuss the truths and fiction of this market. I am the marketing and public relations director for Sport Jet and would welcome any questions regarding our single engine light jet.