Kitplane manufacturer AMD debuted the prototype Zenith CH640 at last month's Experimental Aircraft Association show in Florida, announcing plans to produce a certificated version.

The four-place derivative of the Zenith CH2000 two-seat certificated aircraft will initially be available as a quick-build kit costing about $41,400, excluding engine, avionics, instruments and paint. The CH640 is powered by the 135kW (180hp) Textron Lycoming four-cylinder IO-360 engine.

AMD sister company, Zenair of Canada is seeking Federal Aviation Administration FAR 23 certification for the CH640 in the USA and under equivalent rules in Canada.

That process, according to CH640 designer Chris Heinz, should take three to four years. He says the CH640 is "basically a stretched version of the CH2000". No price has been set for the certificated version of the CH640.

Final performance figures have not been set, but tests indicate that the four-seater will perform proportionally better than the two-seater which is powered by Textron Lycoming's IO-235 engine.

Source: Flight International