Jet Squalus F.1300

The forgotten belgian trainer

 

Text : Serge Van Heertum - S.B.A.P.    Pictures : Serge Van Heertum, Guy Liesse and 1st Wing archives

 

 

The Jet Squalus was designed by Sir Stelio Frati of General Avia (Pioltello, Italy) based on his earlier lightweight jet trainers the F.5 Trento and the F.400 Cobra for a belgian company : Promavia based at Gosselies. The design of the trainer was following the NGT (Next Generation Trainer) specifications of the USAF (ab-initio training, the same aircraft takes the student pilot from basic up to advanced jet training). The single engine jet aircraft was built in Italy by General Avia and the prototype flown for the first time on April 30, 1987 at Bergamo airfield near Milano. The test pilot in charge of this first flight was Jack Zanasso.

Later on, the prototype was transferred to Gosselies. The prototype did many flights to show the capabilities and the quality of the plane on all the potential customers like the Belgian Air Force and the national company Sabena. But no one was interested in this "belgian" trainer, the Belgian Air Force did only 6 evaluation flights to give a kind of quality label at the plane to help the insertion on the international market.

Moreover, in 1993, the NGT specifications where cancelled and replaced by the JPATS. The requirement changed into a tandem seating cockpit. Promavia established than a partnership with Mikoyan Design Bureau and Boeing Defense Division to design a derivative of the Jet Squalus named ATTA 3000.
The ATTA 3000 project cancellation burned the last financial ressources of Promavia, who felt under bankrupcy a few months later.

Alberta Aerospace, one of its creditors, was responsible for the North American marketing rights with Promavia. With the bankrupcy of the belgian company, Alberta Aerospce acquired all assets of the Jet Squalus program.

The aicraft became at this time the Phoenix Fanjet, and was proposed to the civilian training market and also as private aircraft in a 2 seats version : Sigma Jet,

and a 4 seats version : Magna Jet

In November 2001, Alberta Aerospace was out of money and the program stopped again. Actualy the assets of the Phoenix Fanjet program are currently for sale by Noravcan...

 

General characteristics

Crew: 2 (pilot, student)
Length: 9.60 m (30 ft 1 in)
Wingspan: 9.04 m (29 ft 8 in)
Height: 3.60 m (11 ft 9 in)
Wing area: 13.6 m (146 ft)
Empty weight: 1,300 kg (2,900 lb)
Gross weight: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb)
Powerplant: 1
Garrett TFE109-3 turbofan, 7.12 kN (1600 lbf) thrust

Performance

Maximum speed: 638 km/h (397 mph)
Range: 1,936 km (1,203 miles)
Service ceiling: 11,300 m (37,000 ft)

The aircraft was fitted with four underwing hard points for disposable stores to allow weapons training.

 

The prototype 01 in flight above Belgium A mockup OO-SQL presented at Brussels expo
   
The I-SQAL presented at belgian military pilots Goetsenhoven airbase
   
A great interest is showed to this basic jet trainer
   
The NGT Jet Squalus patch Repainted in belgian national colours
   
A test flight was made by Sabena chief pilot Left seat : Guy Liesse,  right seat : "Bob" Saussez an old air force pilot
   
The OO-SQA (previously I-SQAL) at Paris le Bourget in 1987 The OO-JET painted in the National Company colours at Le Bourget in 1989
   
The OO-JET was the second prototype but never flew...presented at Le Bourget and during Gosselies opendoor
   
Side by side pilot office A folder from Garrett the conceptor of the TFE-109 engine
   
The tandem trainer ATTA 3000 (Mikoyan) Phoenix Fanjet 4 seats model Magna Jet (Alberta Aerospace)

 

Home - Back