Assembler is one of a few capable of putting together Viper Jet MKII

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - The Viper Jet MKII is known for its short take off and landing distance, high cruise speeds, low stall speeds, and full aerobatic capabilities. In a small shop within the Cinnamon Tree Business Park in Scappoose, fabricators are putting together a small experimental aircraft for an anonymous owner.

Kris Anderson, owner of Precision Composites Technologies LLC and national leader in assembling kit planes, said this isn’t the first time he’s built this particular personal jet—a Viper Jet MKII. The last one he put together was for a Saudi Prince.

“I’m about the only only person who knows how to build the jet inside and out,” Anderson said.

“[The jet] can reach up to 500 mph, but was never flutter tested,” Anderson said. “It’s not for the average Cessna pilot.” Flutter testing is when an aircraft is tested to determine its stability at high speeds.

Anderson added that, although it’s not the simplest plane out there, for an experienced pilot the Viper Jet MKII is easy to learn to fly on about 10 hours of training and isn’t twitchy like other planes built for high speeds.

Anderson said he started building the jet in 2004.

“It went to another builder for a while, that guy spent a good number of months on it and it went through a couple iterations of trouble-shooting,” he said.

Now, Anderson has the jet back. He said the project has been taking “too long,” but he hopes the jet will be ready to fly within a month. Tentatively, the owner will fly the jet between Scappoose and Hillsboro. “We’re hoping to secure a hangar, but there are no commercial hangars out here,” Anderson said.

The customer is looking to sell the plane after spending a few hours flying it himself.

Now that the aircraft has received its final primer, it needs to be reassembled, hydraulics need to be installed and connectors on the inboard side of the wings need to be completed. The mechanical systems on the wings are done, Anderson said.

Anderson began sub-assembly for the jet he built for the Saudi Prince in 2004 and finished it in 2007. Including a paint-job and some major changes to make the jet more user-friendly, the jet’s final price tag was about $1.2 million. Anderson estimated the jet he’s currently assembling will cost the owner about $1.1 million.

The Viper Jet MKII holds almost 300 gallons of jet fuel which costs about $600 per tank and allows for approximately an hour and a half of flight time — perfect for anyone who wants to go out for a $1,000 hamburger, Anderson said.

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