Bill Northrup, Founder and Chairman of the Board, founded Century Aerospace Corporation under the name Paragon in 1992, changing the name three years later to more accurately reflect the nature of his product and of his vision - a revolutionary aircraft that redefines price and performance for executive travel.
Century researched the design criteria needed to accomplish this mission and developed a new aircraft configuration. Known as the Century Jet, the inexpensive, six-place, high-performance, turbofan aircraft would make an affordable, state-of-the-art, 21st century aircraft available for less than the cost of a twin turboprop.
With tacit FAA approval on much of the materials and design, the Century Jet is quickly evolving from a software and wind tunnel model to a conforming prototype. This is the same method of design used by all major aircraft manufacturers.
"The first thing we produce is going to be a certifiable aircraft," said Northrup. "It's our philosophy to provide the best-possible aircraft for the lowest-possible expense. One way to do this is to use proven design techniques and materials thereby avoiding the need for an expensive proof-of-concept phase."
Another way to implement that philosophy is by learning from the successes and failures of past development programs and by using applied technology which has been previously approved by the FAA on other aircraft. "Using tried-and-true aircraft materials and designs gives us confidence in our product, as well as shortening the certification process." Northrup said. "Our aircraft is further backed by the technical strength of our team."
The Century team consists of highly experienced aircraft design personnel who have been involved in the design, development, testing and certification of nearly 200 different aircraft, ranging from single-engine piston aircraft to twin-engine corporate jets and larger commercial airliners.
ill Northrup began his entrepreneurial career nearly two decades ago when he founded a firm specializing in purchasing, dismantling and reclaiming more than 500 miles of railroad track for Class I railroads. Seven years later, Northrup turned his ambitions to the power market when he designed, developed, built and operated a four-megawatt co-generation power plant. This project was a green-field start up, with Northrup serving as design coordinator, construction project manager and plant manager. The co-generation facility has been profitable since the start of operations in 1987. As a complementary business, Northrup masterminded an activated-carbon company. Among other responsibilities, Northrup developed the activated-carbon business plan, secured financing and formed a joint venture partnership with a public corporation. The production of activated carbon began in 1997.
In the midst of launching the activated-carbon business, Northrup set his entrepreneurial sites on the aviation industry. A private pilot since the early 1970s, Northrup had a vision of developing a revolutionary new corporate aircraft that would introduce new levels of cost vs. performance. This vision began turning into reality in 1992 when Northrup founded Century Aerospace Corporation, and initiated preliminary design and market development for the Century Jet, a six-place business jet.
Over the past six years, Northrup has continued in aviation, engineering and design, and has led the program from concept to a viable, 21st century product. When the Century Jet conforming prototype rolls off the line, Northrup's vision will have come full circle, and his entrepreneurial abilities proven once again.
According to Northrup, however, the key to the success of the Century Jet is the exceptional team working on the aircraft. Complementing Northrup's entrepreneurial spirit and diversified background, the Century team represents more than 400 years of flight and aviation experience. Together, they have developed nearly 200 different aircraft.
"Century has, by far, the most qualified, successful, proven team in the aerospace industry," Northrup said. "They make me look good. They will be the reason for the success of Century Aerospace and the Century Jet."
© Century Aerospace Corporation ("CAC") 1997-2010