The piston-engine Evolution is powered by a Lycoming TEO-540-AE2A engine and has a max cruise of 270 knots. The carbon-fiber airframe combines light weight with high strength.
About a decade ago, I was hired to fly an Aerostar 700 from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to London, U.K., with Captain Mike Miller, chief pilot for Cathay Pacific Airways. In a sense, the trip was a little uncomfortable for both of us, as my job was to serve as check pilot for Miller, a 20,000-hour 747 captain with time in practically everything—except the Aerostar.
Perhaps perversely, Miller’s insurance company insisted that he fly a few hours with someone who knew a little about the Aerostar, and since I knew as little as anyone, I was nominated. Miller was planning to fly the airplane in the upcoming London to Sydney Air Race, and he needed to relocate the finished Aerostar from Idaho to the U.K. The airline captain was absolutely positive he could win the big prize in the 16-leg, 12,000 nm race. (He did exactly that, averaging 274 knots.)