The Vantage Demonstrator Aircraft at Ames Municipal Airport
The VisionAire VA-10 Vantage is a prototype single-engined light business-jet (or "very light jet") designed and developed by the American company VisionAire Jets Corporation. Originally planned for production in the late 1990s, the original VisionAire Corporation failed in 2003. The project was acquired by Eviation Jets, which planned to produce it as the redesigned EV-20 Vantage Jet. Eviation also failed, and in 2012 the design was relaunched by a revived VisionAire under its original design. The Vantage was designed by famed aerospace engineer Burt Rutan
Ames joins jet set with VisionAire (Des Moines Register Aug 4, 1995)
The Vantage is currently being developed by VisionAire Jets, LLC, a successor company to VisionAire Corporation, founded in 1988, to fill a perceived gap in the light aircraft market between high performance piston-engined aircraft and twin-engined executive jets. The Vantage differed from contemporary executive jets in that it was powered by a single engine, a Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D turbofan buried in the rear fuselage, fed by twin air-inlets above the fuselage. It was of all-composite construction, and its wing was forward swept to reduce drag and to allow an unobstructed cabin by mounting the wing spar behind the cabin. It was planned to sell the Vantage for $1.65 million, compared with $3.3 million for the Cessna CitationJet.
The first prototype, a proof-of-concept aircraft intended to confirm the design's handling, was designed and built by Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites at Mojave, California. It made its maiden flight on November 16, 1996. Flight testing revealed several handling and aerodynamic problems, which resulted in a redesign of the aircraft in December 1998.
Delays to the program continued, while costs mounted, and in January 2003, with the company having already spent $110 million, requiring another $125 million to complete certification and owing $35 million, a Federal Judge ordered VisionAire liquidated to pay its debts. The Vantage design was purchased by Eviation, for use as a basis for the twin-engined EV-20 Vantage Jet design.
The coordinates lead to a telephone pole outside of the building that VisionAire planned to use to produce the Vantage. On the pole are numbers that you need to use to find the container:
N 41 59.E A (D-D)
W 93 37.B(E+F)C
The VisionAire building when it was built
VisionAire built the building at the Ames Municipal Airport to produce the Vantage Jet. No aircraft were produced by VisionAire in Ames. The builders were used as storage for a number of years. The building is currently used by Sigler.
The VisionAire building layout design
The Vantage Proof-of-Concept (POC) aircraft is currently located at the VisionAire Jets facility at the Hickory Airport, Hickory North Carolina. (N 35 44' 25.3", W 81 23' 42.5")
Please join us at the Iowa Geocachers Organization's annual Hike-N-Seek Event September 22-24 in Ames, IA. For more information visit http://www.hikenseek2017.org/.
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