SyberJet SJ30

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Sino Swearingen SJ30-2.jpg
A Sino Swearingen SJ30-2 seen at the 2007 Dubai Airshow.
Role Light business jet
National origin United States of America
Manufacturer SyberJet Aircraft
Designer Edward J. Swearingen
First flight 13 February 1991 (SJ30-1)
November 1996 (SJ30-2)
Number built 8
Unit cost
US$8,306,452 (2015)[1]

The SyberJet SJ30 is an American business jet built by SyberJet Aircraft. The SJ30 has been under development since the late 1980s and has been the subject of investment and partnership with a number of companies.


An SJ30 prototype

Ed Swearingen announced a new design for a light twin business jet in October 1986, the SA-30 Fanjet.[2] The SA-30 was to be a 6 to 8 person aircraft powered by two Williams FJ44 turbofans and with a highly swept wing of relatively small area. It was planned to be more efficient than contemporary business jets, and to sell for $2 million.[3] In October 1988 an agreement was signed with Gulfstream Aerospace with the SA-30 to be manufactured and sold by Gulfstream as the Gulfstream Gulfjet. Gulfstream withdrew from the project in September 1989, causing Swearingen to get backing from the Jaffe Group of San Antonio, with the aircraft to be built in a factory next to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. This resulted in the aircraft again being redesignated as the SJ-30 (later "SJ30-1"). The first SJ-30 flew on 13 February 1991, and was demonstrated at the 1991 Paris Air Show, but development ground to a halt when withdrawal of financial support from the state of Delaware.[4]

The SJ30 is in the "light" jet class, and has the fastest cruise speeds and longest range of any aircraft in that class.[5] The aircraft can seat up to six passengers plus one pilot. A unique feature of this aircraft is that it maintains a 'sea level cabin' (zero cabin altitude) up to 41,000 ft[6] (due to its 12 psi differential pressure) thereby reducing fatigue due to high cabin altitude on long journeys.

The program was rescued by Lockheed, who arranged a joint venture between Swearingen and Taiwanese investors as part of the offset agreement for Taiwan's purchase of the F-16 fighters. The Sino Swearingen Aircraft Corporation was set up, with the aircraft now to be built at Martinsburg, West Virginia.[4]

It was subsequently decided to modify the original design as the SJ30-2, with a 4 ft 4in (1.32 m) longer fuselage and wingspan increased by six foot (1.83 m).[7][8] This promised a significant increase in range.[9] The prototype was modified and flew in the new configuration on 8 November 1996, and with the intended FJ44-2a engines on 4 September 1997.[9] Amidst construction delays caused by funding issues, two "as-designed" pre-production aircraft (serial numbers 002, performing the aerodynamics/stability & control testing; and 003, performing systems testing) were built and the design entered certification testing. However, in April 2003, S/N 002 crashed during flight testing, causing further delays in the certification program. After a series of additional design changes, S/N 004, originally slated as the functionality & maintainability (F & M) test article, took over the testing role of S/N 002 (with S/N 005 taking on the F & M role), and after years of flight testing, the SJ30-2 was finally certified by the FAA in October 2005. The first customer delivery took place in early 2007.

Throughout the years the SJ30 program has been the first in many respects, and while small in size it has led the industry in firsts. Below are just several of the key industry and SJ30 program milestones:

The SJ30 program was the first aircraft program to successfully petition for and gain approval to certify as a Part 23 Commuter Category jet. In 1996 Sino Swearingen petitioned to certify as a Commuter Category aircraft arguing that it was as safe, or safer than the current Part 23 Commuter Category aircraft. At the time only the Fairchild Metro 23 and the Beechcraft 1900D had been certified under these rules. Approval of this request allowed the SJ30 program to exceed the 12,500 lbs takeoff weight limit of Part 23 and paved the way for other companies to follow the SJ30 lead.

The SJ30 program was the first to fly both the William’s FJ44-1 and FJ44-2A engine and was instrumental in developing the engines with Williams International. Subsequent incorporation of the engines at Cessna and Raytheon led to their CitationJet and Premier aircraft, respectively.

In keeping with Ed Swearingen’s vision of a better light jet, the SJ30 was the first aircraft designed around a 12 psi cabin for more comfort in the cabin. The 12 psi cabin results in a sea level cabin through 41,000 ft and less than a 1,800 ft cabin at its ceiling of 49,000 ft. The 12 psi cabin was first demonstrated in flight by company pilots on August 23, 2004.

As proof of its speed and range capability the SJ30 holds the following world’s records through the FAI/NAA:

  • Recognized Speed Over a Closed Course - San Antonio, TX to Goose Bay, Canada
  • Recognized Speed Over a Closed Course - San Antonio, TX to London, England
  • Recognized Speed Over a Closed Course - London, England to Dubai. UAE

In 2006, Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the international umbrella organization of the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) awarded Sino Swearingen Aircraft Corporation’s SJ30 the FAI Honorary Group Diploma.

Sino Swearingen was acquired by investors from Dubai in 2008. The Dubai-based company will become the majority shareholder in Sino Swearingen, with the Taiwanese government and private investors taking minority stakes. The company name was changed to the Emivest Aerospace Corporation.

The order book for the $7.5 million aircraft was reported to be largely unaffected by the funding setbacks, with the tally reportedly exceeding 300 units including 159 from Action Aviation.

On October 26, 2010, Emivest filed for bankruptcy after being unable to find further funds to continue operations.[10]

The original SJ30-1 prototype was on display at the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, Texas when it was flooded by Hurricane Ike.[11]

On April 7, 2011, a judge approved sale of Emivest assets to MT LLC of Utah, an ownership group affiliated with Metalcraft Technologies, Inc. of Cedar City, Utah, a parts supplier for the SJ30. According to a news article, Emivest vice president Mark Fairchild stated that according to his understanding, MT planned to maintain Emivest as a jet manufacturer, though he didn't know any details.[12]

As of June 15, 2011, Metalcraft Technologies, the Cedar City, Utah-based company that purchased Emivest out of bankruptcy, MT LC, announced that the new company name would be SyberJet Aircraft.[13] Metalcraft also owns the SJ30 type certificate.[14][15]


SJ30-1 (flown, but never certified)
Prototype (S/N 001) later modified to SJ30-2 standard.
SJ30-2 (certified in 2005)
Stretched production variant.
Sino Swearingen Aircraft manufactured: Flight test articles (S/N's 002, 003, and 004); Production aircraft (S/N's 005, 006, and 007).
Emivest Aerospace manufactured: S/N's 008 and 010.
SJ30i - SyberJet Aircraft manufactured
SJ30-2 with new SyberVision avionics and new Jason Castriota Interior (S/N's 005, 009, 011, 012, 013, and 014); Retrofits (S/N 005).
SJ30i powered by Williams International FJ44-3AP-25 engines. Begins at S/N 015.

Specifications (SJ30)[edit]

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 2003–2004[16]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 or 2 pilots (the SJ30 is certified as single pilot)
  • Capacity: 6 passengers (including one passenger in the cockpit if there is no co-pilot)
  • Length: 46 ft 9½ in (14.26 m)
  • Wingspan: 42 ft 4 in (12.90 m)
  • Height: 14 ft 3 in (4.34 m)
  • Wing area: 190.7 sq ft (17.72 m²)
  • Empty weight: 7,700 lb (3,493 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 13,500 lbs (6,123 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Williams International FJ44-2A turbofan, 2,300 lbs (10.23 kN) each



  • Honeywell Epic Control Display System

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Business Jets Specification and Performance Data" (PDF). Business & Commercial Aviation. Aviation Week. May 2015. 
  2. ^ Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1987–88, p.525
  3. ^ Rupertson 2000, pp. 285–286.
  4. ^ a b Rupertson 2000, p. 286.
  5. ^ SJ30-2 official web site
  6. ^ Gerzanics, Mike (27 April 2010), "FLIGHT TEST: Embraer Phenom 300", Flightglobal, Reed Business Information, archived from the original on 4 May 2012, retrieved 28 March 2015 
  7. ^ Lambert 1993, p. 574.
  8. ^ Rupertson 2000, p. 292.
  9. ^ a b Rupertson 2000, p. 287.
  10. ^ Biz Journal article
  11. ^ Images from LSFM
  12. ^ mySA article
  13. ^ mySA article
  14. ^
  15. ^ Aviation Week & Space Technology: 71. 14 October 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ Jackson 2003, pp. 731–732.


  • Jackson, Paul (2003). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 2003–2004. Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-7106-2537-5. 
  • Lambert, Mark (1994). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1993–94. Couldson, UK: Jane's Data Division. ISBN 0-7106-1066-1. 
  • Taylor, John W. R. (1987). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1987–88. London: Jane's Publishing. 
  • Rupertson, Francis. "Farther, Faster and Higher, For Less". Air International. No. November 2000. pp. 285–292. ISSN 0306-5634. 

External links[edit]