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Avocet, IAI To Develop Professional Jet (Aug. 5)

WESTPORT, Conn. --- Avocet Aircraft LLC and Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd (IAI) have signed an agreement to jointly investigate the development and marketing of the Avocet Professional Jet, a next-generation jet designed specifically for the requirements of the air-taxi and fractional operator markets.

The Avocet ProJet will feature the latest developments in jet engine, avionics and manufacturing technologies. It will have an acquisition price and operating costs substantially lower than today’s private aircraft.

“We have been collaborating with IAI on this new vision for over a year now and are pleased to formally announce that we have commenced the final definition phase of the Avocet ProJet with one of the most experienced aircraft design teams in the industry,” stated former investment banker and Avocet Founder and Chairman Carey Robinson Wolchok. Avocet Chief Executive Officer David Tait OBE, who is credited with having built Virgin Atlantic Airways into one of the world’s preeminent airlines, added: “The Avocet ProJet is a six-seat, twin-engine jet that will sell for approximately two million dollars and will be the first jet to be purpose-built for the high-utilization needs of the emerging Air-Taxi and Fractional Ownership markets.”

Bob Crandall, the former Chairman and CEO of American Airlines, added: “The Avocet ProJet program, like other efforts to build an affordable small jet, will be a substantial challenge. If IAI and Avocet accomplish their goals, I think this new airplane will have a profound impact on US aviation and will dramatically alter the way Americans travel.”

NASA, which is supporting many of the technologies behind this new category of aircraft, believes the next-generation jets will serve as the foundation for an enormous national small aircraft transportation system which will utilize the thousands of small airports throughout the US. During last year’s National Business Aviation Association annual conference, aerospace manufacturer Honeywell noted that its surveys had indicated this category of aircraft could outpace all new business jet deliveries combined.

Ofer Shifris, General Manager of New Aircraft Programs at IAI, said: “Based on our experience and expertise in aircraft design, production and certification, we believe that we can meet Avocet’s goals and deliver this new aircraft with competitive acquisition and operating costs.”

Israel Aircraft Industries LTDs globally recognized as a leader in commercial and military aerospace. For fifty years IAI has been successfully designing engineering, manufacturing and certifying aircraft for customers throughout the world. IAI designed, certified and currently manufactures a family of super-mid-size business jets for Gulfstream Aerospace, including the G100 and G200, and is currently developing the G150 with Gulfstream. IAI also has broad-based capabilities in the design, manufacturing, modification and upgrading of fighter aircraft, helicopters, unmanned air vehicles and electronic and communication systems.

Avocet Aircraft LLC, headquartered in Westport, Connecticut, was founded by a group of aerospace industry investment bankers and a team of leading aviation industry executives.

Avocet Signs Agreement with IAI to Define Private Jet