Turboprop schedule slips as focus turns to new aircraft

Grob Aerospace says certification of its G160 Ranger turboprop has been delayed because the general aviation manufacturer has been devoting its energies to developing the G180 SPn Utility Jet, which was launched at Paris (Flight International, 14-20 June).

The German company unveiled design modifications for the single turbo­prop, including winglets and a new interior, and says it will be certificated by the middle of next year, about 18 months behind the original schedule.

Grob says the latest aircraft signal a shift in strategy away from its original glider and light military training business – the company, based near Munich, has built 3,500 all-composite aircraft over the past 34 years.

Klaus Rudolf Mäusl, contracts and projects director, says the company is relegating trainers to a “sideline”. He adds: “Serial production in the future will be in the business aviation range and if there is demand from customers for the trainers we will build to order.”

After appointing Swiss business aviation services company ExecuJet as its distributor for the SPn, Grob is now looking for a sales channel for the G160.

The company is also likely to abandon efforts to market the G140TP four-seat high-performance light turboprop. The Rolls-Royce 250-B17F-powered aircraft is priced beyond the reach of general aviation buyers, says Mäusl.

Source: Flight International