PARIS: Issoire's Simba purrfect for full-scale manufacture

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French aerostructures and aircraft manufacturer Issoire Aviation received type certification for its APM 40 Simba piston-single this morning.

The four-seat aircraft is the third variant of the APM series, which includes the two-seat APM 20 Lionceau and three-seat APM 30 Lion and is could be the first of the Issoire family to be reach full-scale manufacture.

"Our main focus as a company is on building composite parts for EADS companies and on research and development of composites. We have sold a handful of the two-seat and three-seat APMs to flying schools but manufacturing aircraft has not been our priority," said Issoire.

The company - based in the Auvergne region - believes the Lycoming IO-240B-powered four-seat Simba has wider appeal ranging from flying schools to private owners and plans to ramp up manufacturing slowly.

"We will start with the French market and then look to a wider audience," it said. "Our first prototype was presented at the 2009 Paris air show and this year its has been wowing crowds in the daily flying display."