Oma Sud's Skycar prepared for maiden flight

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Italian general aviation manufacturer Oma Sud is planning to fly the first prototype of its Skycar aircraft in February.

The five-seater piston twin-pusher had been scheduled to fly for the first time in June, but a decision to include improved avionics on the aircraft delayed the original schedule.

The first prototype is in the final stage of preparation for a January roll-out, and the company is also working on a second prototype, says Oma Sud president Valter Proietti.

Proietti adds that he hopes certification of the aircraft will be completed by August.

"During the development of the avionics, after in-depth benchmarking analysis, the decision was taken to adopt Chelton's next-generation instrumentation, this being the first in the world with 3D synthetic vision characteristics," he says.

Oma Sud, which is based near Naples in southern Italy, is targeting international as well as Italian customers, and has had around 30 provisional orders for the aircraft. Proietti hopes to be able to sign firm contracts in February once the first flight is completed.

As part of Oma Sud's drive to sell the aircraft in the USA, the company has set up an office in Miami, Florida, and is planning to begin establishing a second assembly line for the aircraft at Miami's Opa Locka airport midway through 2007.

The Skycar, which will be po­w­ered by two 200hp (150kW) Lycoming IO-360-C1E6 piston engines, will have a maximum take-off weight of 1,900kg (4,180lb) and its maximum payload will be 500kg.