CMC Leopard

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Leopard
CMC Leopard complete.jpg
CMC Leopard G-BRNM on display at the Midland Air Museum
Role Business jet
Manufacturer Chichester-Miles Consultants
Designer Ian Chichester-Miles
First flight 12 December 1988
Status Project cancelled, both aircraft withdrawn from use
Number built 2

The CMC Leopard was a British light personal business jet developed in the 1980s. Two prototypes were built and flown, but the type was never put into production.

Design and development[edit]

The Leopard was a twin-jet, mid-wing monoplane of composite construction with all-swept flying surfaces and jet fighter-like styling, apart from the podded engines, mounted on each side of the rear fuselage. The entire canopy hinged forward to allow access to the four reclining seats.[1]

A mockup was completed in 1982, leading to a prototype (registration G-BKRL[2]) built by the Designability company. The prototype first flew late in 1988. Development suffered a major setback when the engine manufacturer, Noel Penny Turbines, ceased business, leading to the grounding of the prototype. A second, refined prototype (registration G-BRNM[3]) was then constructed to use Williams International turbofans. This aircraft also incorporated a pressurised cabin, revised undercarriage, and a generally strengthened airframe. This second prototype was unveiled at the 1996 Farnborough International Airshow and first flew on 9 April 1997.

The project never progressed beyond the two aircraft built, later redesignated Leopard Four to distinguish them from a six-seat variant proposed in 2001, the Leopard Six. The Six would not be able to use the EJ-22 engine due to exclusive deal between Williams and Eclipse.[4] Chief aircraft designer and CMC chairman Ian Chichester-Miles died in 2009, bringing the enterprise to an end.[5]

Aircraft on display[edit]

CMC Leopard G-BRNM in 1997 at Cranfield

Until 2007, both prototype Leopards, G-BKRL and G-BRNM, were on display at the Bournemouth Aviation Museum. With the museum temporary closure and relocation in 2008, only the former was retained and moved to the new site, while G-BRNM was acquired by the Midland Air Museum at Coventry Airport.[6][7]

Specifications (second prototype)[edit]

General characteristics

  • Crew: One pilot
  • Capacity: 3 passengers
  • Length: 24 ft 9 in (7.54 m)
  • Wingspan: 23 ft 6 in (7.16 m)
  • Height: 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
  • Wing area: 63 ft2 (5.85 m2)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Williams FJX-1, 700 lbf (3.1 kN) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 540 mph (869 km/h)
  • Range: 1,726 miles (2,778 km)
  • Service ceiling: 55,000 ft (16,765 m)
  • Rate of climb: 6,340 ft/min (32.7 m/s)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Leopard ready to leap", Flight International, p. 21, 6 September 1986
  2. ^ "G-INFO Database". Civil Aviation Authority.
  3. ^ "G-INFO Database". Civil Aviation Authority.
  4. ^ Sarsfield, Kate (20 March 2001). "Chichester Miles spots new market for Leopard Six jet". Flight International. Flightglobal. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Obituaries - Ian Chichester-Miles: aircraft designer". The Times. Times Newspapers. 15 October 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Chichester-Miles Leopard G-BKRL". Bournemouth Aviation Museum. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Latest News". Midland Air Museum. 12 April 2008. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. p. 922.
  • World Aircraft Information Files. London: Bright Star Publishing. pp. File 891 Sheet 27.