The TsT 14-J BonusJet
Welcome to the future of soaring, the BonusJet by Desert Aerospace, LLC. The BonusJet is the first truly practical jet self-launching sailplane. The links below offer information on the aircraft, jet sailplane training, jet sailplane sales and jet sailplane rental.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or to schedule a demonstration flight
BonusJet General Information
Description & specifications
The BonusJet is based on the TST-14 'Bonus' sailplane produced by TeST (a division of Comp_Let) in the Czech Republic. The Bonus was originally produced as an unpowered sailplane, or with the option of a Rotax piston engine and propeller. The BonusJet has been modified by the addition of a PBS TJ-100 engine (also produced in the Czech Republic) in place of the original Rotax. The jet engine retract hardware was designed by Desert Aerospace, LLC, and the jet conversion was done in the US by Desert Aerospace, LLC.
We estimate a sea level climb performance better than 1000 ft/ min. To date, most flights have been from our home airport located in Moriarty, New Mexico. The elevation at Moriarty is 6200' MSL, and the density altitude often exceeds 10,000'. Climb performance at these conditions is still exceptional at approximately 700 ft/min. The BonusJet's climb far exceeds any other motorglider we have compared with (Stemme, DG-505, ASH-26E). We anticipate conducting a complete flight test program soon at lower elevation to establish true climb performance numbers.
Two switches control all engine extend/retract/start functions. They are simply 'Pylon' (up/down) and 'Engine' (run/stop). Door actuation is handled automatically by a door/pylon sequencer when pylon commands are actuated. A cooldown period of about 2 minutes is required after shutdown before retracting the engine. Engine retract may be commanded at any time after engine shutdown. The pylon/door sequencer will automatically take care of cooldown timing.
Advantages of Jet Power
The advantages of jet power over conventional piston/prop are numerous. The jet engine is extremely simple, and at 42 pounds, it is only about 1/3 the weight of equivalent piston engines. It does not require any belt drives, speed reducers or massive pylons. It reqiuires very little input from the pilot for starting, and does not require any prop positioning or 'bumping' for retraction. When extended, the jet engine has about the same drag as a single Cessna 172 wheel pant. The jet engine also produces almost no vibration, eliminating the most significant cause of cracking and fatigue failures in all aircraft systems, including the structure and avionics. Also looming on the horizon is the elimination of 100LL (leaded) avgas. The BonusJet uses jet fuel, which does not contain lead.