Aircraft

Saker S-1: Military-inspired personal jet aims to reach Mach 0.99

Saker S-1: Military-inspired p...
Saker Aircraft claims the Saker S-1 will reach a maximum speed of Mach 0.99
Saker Aircraft claims the Saker S-1 will reach a maximum speed of Mach 0.99
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Saker Aircraft claims the Saker S-1 will reach a maximum speed of Mach 0.99
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Saker Aircraft claims the Saker S-1 will reach a maximum speed of Mach 0.99
Saker Aircraft says the Saker S-1 won't require any specialist flight training
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Saker Aircraft says the Saker S-1 won't require any specialist flight training
Saker Aircraft says the Saker S-1 will have a cruising speed of Mach 0.95
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Saker Aircraft says the Saker S-1 will have a cruising speed of Mach 0.95
The Saker S-1 is a tandem two-seater
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The Saker S-1 is a tandem two-seater
The Saker S-1 will be powered by two Williams FJ44-4 engines
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The Saker S-1 will be powered by two Williams FJ44-4 engines
The Saker S-1 will be designed to have a range of 1,600 miles, or 2,200 miles with external fuel pods
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The Saker S-1 will be designed to have a range of 1,600 miles, or 2,200 miles with external fuel pods
The Saker S-1 measures 40.5 ft (12.3 m) long, 15 ft (4.6 m) high and has a wingspan of 27 ft (8 m)
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The Saker S-1 measures 40.5 ft (12.3 m) long, 15 ft (4.6 m) high and has a wingspan of 27 ft (8 m)
Concept illiustration of the Saker S-1
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Concept illiustration of the Saker S-1
The Saker S-1 on the tarmac
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The Saker S-1 on the tarmac
The Saker S-1 is a tandem two-seater personal jet
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The Saker S-1 is a tandem two-seater personal jet

In the business world, time is money (and bragging rights). In April, the Citation X took said rights from the Gulfstream G650 with its maximum speed of Mach 0.935. Another contender could soon be on the tarmac in the form of the Saker S-1. With a design inspired by military fighter jets, US-based Saker Aircraft says its S-1 will cruise at Mach 0.95 and reach a top speed of Mach 0.99.

In keeping with its military jet inspiration, the S-1 is a tandem two-seater. This includes the pilot’s seat, so this “luxury” jet is aimed at those that consider time more of a luxury than comfort. However, the extra speed should translate to less time spent in the air, with Saker calculating the S-1 will shave an hour off a 1,500 nautical mile (2,778 km/1,726 mile) flight compared to its closest competitor.

The S-1 is also being designed to handle take-off and landing from runways as short as 1,500 ft (457 m) and climb at a rate of 14,000 ft/min (4,267 m/min). Saker anticipates the aircraft will have a service ceiling of 45,000 ft (13,720 m) and a maximum range of 1,600 miles (2,575 km) with its internal 500 gal (1,890 L) tank. However, two external 100 gal (380 L) pods can be added to increase the range to 2,200 miles (3,540 km).

The Saker S-1 will be designed to have a range of 1,600 miles, or 2,200 miles with external fuel pods
The Saker S-1 will be designed to have a range of 1,600 miles, or 2,200 miles with external fuel pods

Measuring 40.5 ft (12.3 m) long, 15 ft (4.6 m) high and with a wingspan of 27 ft (8 m), the S-1’s compact size should also keep hangar costs down. It has an empty weight of 5,500 lb (2,495 kg) and can carry a maximum payload of 6,000 lb (2,720 kg).

It will be powered by two Williams FJ44-4 engines that boast a 5,000 hour time before overhaul (TBO), which Saker says gives the S-1 an estimated operating cost of US$2 per nautical mile. Saker adds that the engines, combined with the S-1’s aerodynamic profile, will result in an aircraft that uses 20 percent less fuel than its competitors.

Despite its looks, Saker says no military training will be required to fly the S-1, which has a stall speed of 90 knots. The aircraft’s cockpit, systems and aerodynamics have all been designed so it can be handled by any properly trained pilot. And if the pilot isn’t up to the task, Saker will also offer the option of ejection seats.

Saker says the majority of the S-1 will be designed and manufactured in North America, and although the aircraft is still in the design phase, Saker has taken the ambitious step of accepting pre-orders. We’ve written requesting pricing and release info and will keep you posted.

Update (6/4/2013): We've been informed that Saker Aircraft is aiming for a price in the US$5 to $7 million range, depending on custom features, with hopes that if the certification process runs smoothly deliveries will begin in 2019. The company points out that since the S-1 is still at the concept stage, there will likely be some changes and improvements to ensure the aircraft meets regulatory requirements.

Source: Saker Aircraft

38 comments
Ian Kitney
This is just asking for trouble... they will be shot down by accident for looking like a fighter jet...
Ian Mitko
And once this airplane goes in a slight dive it is at mach what...? The transsonic region begins at mach .93 so what training will pilots receive for that? Does it have a/an stabilitator/all moving tail plane? Why can the airplane fly so fast, but only climb at the rate it does? Why do the front and inlets look like they were taken from stealth fighters and the rear look like a mix between an F-15 and an SU-27? The bottom also resembles an f-35 despite having two engines. What safety precautions will be taken to make sure this doesn't end up like the bede-10? Which airplanes does it consider its competitors? Why does it have narrow chines and spoilers?
Mel Tisdale
Bang goes the peace and quiet in the environs of any airport/airfield from which this rather silly aircraft might operate. Fortunately, the fun will soon wear off and they will gather dust and maintenance charges in their hangars.
VoiceofReason
Also since it's a fast jet, it's going to be real fun trying to land it since the stall speed will be very high. This is going to need skilled pilots to fly;.
Anthony Parkerwood
If only it had VTOL to land on the roof of a skyscraper or in the back yard. It would be cool if it could float too, for island hopping.
Ralf Biernacki
Why the ridiculous Mach 0.99? At that airspeed, most of the flow over the (convex parts of) the plane will actually be supersonic. Is there a regulation they are trying to skirt, so that the 0.99 is like a regatta yacht being 1 inch shorter than the length allowed by regulations? Or are they trying to milk the market for what it's worth before making the S-2 go at Mach 1.01 and cashing in once again?
Ash Mills
Anything on it allow you to drop nearly 3 metric tonnes of explosive whilst flying?
GizEngineer
Why the twin vertical tails, other than to look like an F-15. You don't need that much stability for the speed of this aircraft.
Griffin
Watch out for Mach Tuck. That's what did in a lot of early bizjets till they found out the pilots were disconnecting the Mach alert to skate the edge. One guy with Navy experience recovered by immediately deploying the landing gear- the rest before him crashed. It bent the gear flat against the plane. So I heard,anyway.
Jerry Reyes
It doesn't have the range. At least 2,400 miles from NY to LA.