Kit-Built Stratos 716X Jet Makes Oshkosh Debut

The Stratos 716X prototype (foreground) is based on the proof-of-concept 714. The 716X cabin is 31 in. longer and 5 in. wider but weighs about 400 lb. less.
Credit: John Smoker

OSKOSH, Wisconsin—The Stratos 716X prototype made its debut at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture this week, after flying from its home base in Redmond, Oregon.

Stratos Aircraft President Carsten Sundin says the the company is pricing the 0.7-Mach, single-engine, six-passenger 716X at $2.5 million. That price includes a freshly overhauled Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D5 engine.

Sundin says the company plans to sell 10-12 716X kits over four years while further developing the design so it can seek certification for the Stratos 716, which will be priced $1 million higher than the kit-built aircraft. He says the company is initially seeking three launch customers who are highly experienced in constructing kit-built aircraft. It plans to maintain a backlog of three orders as it continues developing the 716 for certification.

Deliveries of the kits are to begin next year. The aircraft will come with a full site of Garmin 3X avionics.

Both the kit-built and certified versions of the aircraft are designed to fly at 41,000 ft.

The 716X will offer jet safety, speed and smoothness because it will fly above most weather, Sundin says.

The pricing of both versions compares favorably with turboprops, while also offering similar fuel economy due to its higher cruising altitude and better performance.

The aircraft’s skin will be made from Toray prepreg composite, vacuum bagged and heat cured.

The company says a person who buys the kit could complete it in as little as nine months, using Stratos builder-assist affiliates.

Stratos is taking a vertically oriented approach so that it can control quality, availability, schedule and cost, Sundin says. The company plans to add training, parts and technical support.

Although the aircraft is primarily composite, a steel frame behind the pressure vessel will support the engine. The design will allow the engine to be removed and replaced within a day.

In the cabin, brown tracks running the length of the cabin floor will allow the leather seats to be repositioned in about 1 min., switching quickly from all forward-facing to club seating. An executive seating option will add arm rests and a retracting foot rest to the seats. The seats will have three-point seat belts to provide added safety for passengers.

Michael Lavitt

Michael O. Lavitt, Director of Editorial Content Production for Aviation Week, has extensive experience in both traditional print and new media. He began his career as a reporter with daily newspapers, worked on developing online services in Chicago and New York in the mid-1980s and then joined Aviation Week & Space Technology as a news editor.