Quest Aircraft’s new Kodiak high-wing, 10-passenger turboprop single made a brief first flight October 16, exactly two years after the startup dedicated its 27,000-sq-ft research and development facility in Sandpoint, Idaho. The flight of the 750-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-powered STOL, fixed-gear airplane lasted just six minutes as the pilot made one circuit of the airport.
Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6
Quest Aircraft’s new Kodiak high-wing, fixed-gear turboprop single successfully completed its 50th flight on January 11, just three months after the aircraft made its maiden flight and some two years after the start-up company dedicated its 27,000-sq-ft research-and-development facility in Sandpoint, Idaho.
The FAA has granted several supplemental type certificates (STC) to Standard Aero for upgrades to aircraft powered by the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A turboprop, including the Cheyenne I, IA, II and IIXL and King Air F90.
Standard Aero has entered a five-year purchase agreement with Pratt & Whitney Canada for 500 aircraft engines as part of its PT6A-135A, -42 and -52 upgrade program.
Development of the 10-passenger, single-turboprop S-22 by agplane builder Air Tractor of Olney, Texas, slowed last year due to the company’s focus on providing a highly modified version of its AT-802 to the U.S. government for drug crop eradication in Colombia, according to Kristin Snow, communications director and daughter of founder and president Leland Snow.
Reims Aviation, one of Europe’s few remaining independent light aircraft manufacturers and subcontractors, has been saved from bankruptcy. The Reims, eastern France commercial court lifted the bankruptcy protection order on the company but said it should be broken up and sold in two parts, with 164 of the 461 employees losing their jobs.
At least one manufacturer of turbine singles believes it has waited long enough for Europe’s Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) to adopt proposed rules (NPA-29) setting out the requirements for JAA-member states to approve commercial operations in singles in IFR conditions (SEIFR). In fact, Switzerland-based Pilatus Aircraft decided to take the matter into its own hands.
The NTSB continues its investigation into a fatal crash April 24 that killed the pilot when his TBM 700 turboprop single hit a 38-foot telephone pole, then burst into flames a half-mile short of Runway 18 at Mobile Downtown Airport, Ala., at 8:10 p.m. VMC prevailed at the time.
In the aftermath of July’s well publicized engine-out ditching of a Pilatus PC-12 in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Russia, industry observers are asking how this and other recent accidents have affected the statistical reliability of single-engine turboprops and if sales of these aircraft are suffering.
AeroCourier Group of Minneapolis plans to introduce a low-wing, single-engine turboprop utility airplane that the company claims will have lower acquisition and operating costs and better performance and specifications than the current leader in the category, the Cessna Caravan. The company is also designing a unique LDX container for the airplane that will be stackable and locked together for “easy loading” into industry-standard containers.