The Jetcruzer—a turbine single pusher fixed-wing aircraft dating back to the mid-1980s and shelved in 2004—is being revived as an electric aircraft. Victor Tao, who bought the prototypes and intellectual properties in 2016, plans to bring the Jetcruzer 450 and longer-range Model 500 derivative to market as electric fuel cell and hybrid-electric airplanes, respectively.
According to the reformed company, Jetcruzer International, a magniX electric motor will be fitted to the Jetcruzer 500E testbed by year-end, but the suppliers for its hybrid-electric system have yet to be determined. The $2.66 million 500E model is projected to have a 1,500-nm range, a 300-mph top speed, and a 30,000-foot ceiling.
While a certification timeline has not been announced for the 500E, Jetcruzer International expects the fuel-cell-powered 450E to be certified in less than two years, thanks to the original turboprop variant having received FAA approval in 1994. The $1.98 million 450E will have a 500-nm range, a 245-kt top speed, and a 27,000-foot ceiling.
For the prototypes, production will be done at Ontario in California, and assembly in nearby Murrietta, said Jetcruzer's sales vice president, Tom Miyano. The company has not yet selected a location for aircraft production.
“We have been funding the project ourselves until now,” Miyano added. “We are looking for investors and we plan raise about $50 million to bring [the aircraft] to certification.”