As expected, the recession has taken a toll on aircraft manufacturers and would-be manufacturers. But while the list of canceled and delayed projects includes the inevitable marginal programs, the crop of active manufacturers is–with few exceptions–forging ahead with new aircraft.
Comp Air is still planning to certify its single-engine turboprop CA-12, but has not yet formally applied to the FAA for a type certificate. “We’re waiting for everything to be in place before we apply,” said COO Bill Fedorko. The company is not yet taking deposits on the CA-12, he added.
In many ways, last year was an extraordinary year for business aviation, with a record of more than 1,000 jet deliveries but also a large number of new jet programs launched. Last year, Cessna kicked off the Citation Columbus, a more than three-quarter billion dollar program that brings Cessna into the large-cabin long-range jet market. Dassault is upgrading the Falcon 900 with winglets to make
Merritt Island, Fla.-based Comp Air last month announced that it received $150 million in funding from MercMed, a California-based investment company headed by former Mercury Air Group chairman Dr. Philip Fagan. CEO Ron Lueck said the company has started taking refundable $100,000 customer deposits on the $2.95 million, Honeywell TPE331-14GR-powered Comp Air 12 and has deposits in hand for about two dozen airplanes.
Merritt Island, Fla.-based Comp Air this week announced that it received $150 million in funding from MercMed, a California-based investment company headed by former Mercury Air Group chairman Dr. Philip J. Fagan. Comp Air believes this injection of funding is sufficient to develop, certify and start production of an all-composite, pressurized turboprop single called the Comp Air 12.
Nothing re-ignites interest in new turboprops faster than a good old-fashioned “fuel crisis.”
Merritt Island, Fla.-based Comp Air is developing an all-composite, pressurized single-engine turboprop called the Model 12. CEO Ron Lueck estimates that it will cost $150 million to get the airplane certified. Lueck has been designing homebuilt/kit aircraft since the 1980s, but the Model 12 will require a separate corporate structure and production facility to meet FAA standards.
The CA-9 single-engine turboprop program is warming up, with a first flight accomplished in July and plans for FAA certification in 2013, although initial versions will be sold as kitbuilt experimental category aircraft. The high-wing fixed-gear CA-9 will seat six, offer a 250-knot cruise speed, fly up to 2,200 nm and be powered by a Honeywell TPE331-12.
Merritt Island, Fla.-based Comp Air is moving ahead with plans to certify the Comp Air 12 and will not offer a kit version of the hefty turboprop single, according to a Comp Air spokesman. “We received word just the other day that we are going to get our funding for the CA-12 project,” he said.
Merritt Island, Fla.-based Comp Air is preparing its CA-9 prototype for first flight, three months after unveiling the all-composite turboprop single at the Sun 'n' Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. It plans to fly the new aircraft to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., later this month. The $1.6 million CA-9–a six-place, high-wing airplane with fixed gear–is expected to cruise at 250 knots and have a range of 2,200 nm.
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