Carters plans slowed rotor-compound year-end flight

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Carter Aviation Technologies expects a year-end first flight of its slowed rotor/compound personal air vehicle (PAV) and is planning for five pre-production demonstrators to be built before 2011.

After unveiling its new demonstrator last month at the Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Carter now faces challenges to meet the year-end first flight deadline, including completing the avionics and rotor assembly fabrication. The PAV would be sold as a kit, with two weeks of training and the construction of the customer's aircraft included in the price, which could be up to $400,000.

The Wichita Falls, Texas-based company has letters of intent for production signed by Dynamic Composites, Eagle Aviation, Liberty Aerospace and VX Aerospace, says Carter founder and chief executive Jay Carter. He says he has 29 deposits placed for the PAV. With a production of 1,000 shipsets or more a year, its price could come down to $250,000.

Carter has been working on this PAV design for four years, since the crash of its Carter Copter during US Army trials. This was also a slowed rotor/compound helicopter.

With a 350hp (260kW) Lycoming IE2 engine Carter expects the PAV to fly at 25,000ft (7,600m) with a 215kt (400km/h) cruise speed and have a range of 1,610km (870nm) using 227kg (500lb) of fuel.

The company is also proposing an unmanned air vehicle version for logistics and expects to make an announcement before the fourth quarter about a licence agreement.