Apex Aircraft, French manufacturer of the Cap and Robin light aircraft line, has emerged from a court-imposed period of observation two weeks earlier than planned after it was cleared from receivership on 1 July (Flight International, 10-16 June).

Apex chairman Guy Pellissier says: "The initial observation period should have ended on 10 September; but the court agreed to bring this forward by 17 days given our good performance."

He says the Dijon-based company is well on its way to exceeding its target of selling two new aircraft a month, adding: "Our order book would justify increasing our production rate now, but we first have to employ more staff and then train them so it will take some time."

Apex is developing a diesel version of the DR400. Dubbed the Robin 135 CDI, the single-engined aircraft is powered by the Thielert Aircraft Engines 135shp (100kW) Centurion 1.7 and will begin flight tests at the end of the month.

Pellissier says the German certification authority, the LBA, "is more familiar with this type of engine than their French counterparts at the DGAC, so we are likely to get certification faster." Pellissier says there is strong demand for "quiet" diesel types in Germany.

Source: Flight International