Emivest Aerospace, formerly known as Sino Swearingen, has restructured the company with layoffs at its Martinsburg, W.Va., plant as it matches personnel to current production levels. The SJ30 is a six-seat business jet powered by two Williams FJ44-2A engines and capable of Mach .83 (486 knots) at 49,000 feet with a range of 2,500 nm. It will be built at Martinsburg and San Antonio, Texas.
A Martinsburg newspaper, The Journal, reported that 30 employees were laid off by Emivest Aerospace. There were 78 workers at the Martinsburg plant. The company has a production backlog lasting until 2011. As is the case with all jet manufacturers, some customers have deferred orders during the economic downturn.
But not actor Morgan Freeman. Emivest is currently preparing to deliver serial No. 008, but will build aircraft out of sequence, meaning Freeman’s serial number 010 is next. Freeman and his pilot start SJ30 training at the end of May, with delivery of his aircraft expected by September.
Emivest has just completed training for the first pilot to receive a single-pilot type rating in the SJ30, U.S. Naval Academy graduate Debra Draheim. After flying for the Navy she flew for a regional airline as a captain on the Bombardier CRJ200/700/900. She is joining a private company that has three SJ30 aircraft on order. She holds a degree in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.