VisionAire Jets, LLC (www.visionairejets.com) is located in Newton, North Carolina where aerospace and particularly composite construction is gaining a strong foothold, first with racing teams and now with aircraft development and manufacturing. VisionAire Jets, LLC, provides innovative aircraft solutions to the aviation industry. With its flagship product, the Vantage single engine business jet, the company is targeting a gap in the general aviation market between high-end piston-driven and turbo-prop propeller airplanes and the more expensive light-class business jet aircraft—a market segment which represents a large, fast-growing and under-served market.
VisionAire founder and President, Jim Rice, commented on the revived relationship with the Jonathan Byrd’s Racing team: “With today’s announcement, myself, everybody at VisionAire Jets, and the entire VisionAire team that is developing the Vantage, are pleased to continue a relationship with the Byrd family and IndyCar Racing that began nearly twenty years ago. Seeing the current Jonathan Byrd’s team come together has been exciting to watch, and we will be even more excited when the month of May begins and we return to racing."
Bryan Clauson talked about the team’s newest partner: “It’s very cool to see this relationship between VisionAire and the Byrd team re-established. Early on, we talked about this program as a ‘throwback’ program, so we’re throwing back in more ways than one. Also, with this year’s introduction of aerokits, it seems very appropriate to be bringing in a partner in the aerospace category. Maybe we can talk them into developing an aerokit of their own? I hope that we can be part of the VisionAire Jets success story as they bring their jet to the marketplace, and I’m definitely looking forward to flying in a Vantage in the next few years."
David Byrd added: “It’s been great re-connecting with Jim Rice and his team at VisionAire Jets, and we are looking forward to developing a very strong long-term partnership. The Vantage jet, long under development with a winding and circuitous path, not only continues to represent cutting edge technology, it also aims to fill a market gap. VisionAire Jets fills a market void, and in that sense, they are not unlike Bryan, in that he fills a certain void when it comes to the Indy 500. The Vantage is and will be the only jet of its type, and Bryan is the sole driver of his type at Indy. Clearly, the time has come for both to take flight. This has been a new era for our family’s motorsports program, and it’s a new era for VisionAire. Together, we’re going to make our marks!"
The VisionAire Vantage is designed to provide an excellent mix of speed, range, comfort and affordability by offering a 430 mph entry-level, single-engine business jet constructed of carbon fiber and designed to go in and out of very short 2500 foot runways. Development of the Vantage began in St. Louis under the technical leadership of Tom Stark, and continued in Mojave, California with design refinement done by Burt Rutan and his Scaled Composites, which built the flying prototype that has flown over 500 hours in both flight testing and demonstration flights.