NBAA: Klapmeier looks to build a new prototype of the Kestrel single turboprop by next NBAA

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Alan Klapmeier is aiming to unveil a new prototype of the Kestrel - the British-designed single-engine turboprop he acquired rights to earlier this year - at next year's NBAA.

The founder and former chief of Cirrus is exhibiting the current Kestrel, originally built by Farnborough Aircraft, at the static display. But the design being worked on now, replaces the curved leading edge with a straight wing and will be 6in (15cm) wider.

Next month, Klapmeier's team - which includes former Cirrus and Farnborough engineers - will move into a facility in the soon-to-be-vacated naval air station at Brunswick, Maine, where production and 300 employees will eventually be based. He is reluctant to set a definite target date for certification, but says: "Our wild guess is that it will be a three-year program, but I don't know enough to have a firm guess."

kestrel, billypix
 © Billypix

Klapmeier, who was fired two years ago as chief executive of the Duluth, Minnesota, airframer he founded in 1979, severed all ties with the company last year after an attempt to purchase the rights to the Cirrus Vision SF50 personal jet.

He announced he was purchasing the Kestrel program, with a group of investors, at the AirVenture show in Oshkosh in July. He says he had been looking to get involved with a project "that was far enough along to cut the schedule needed to certificate it, but not so far along that we could not change things that did not fit with our philosophy."