Ayres aims to kick-start flight testing of its LM200 Loadmaster twin turboshaft, single-propeller, utility aircraft by the end of July at its Albany, Georgia, base.

The US manufacturer has taken delivery of the aircraft wings, tail cone and other components supplied by its Czech Republic-based subsidiary, Let Kunovice.

Final assembly of the first of three test aircraft is under way, in preparation for roll-out next month, says company founder and president Fred Ayres. Certification and first deliveries to launch customer FedEx are planned for the second half of next year.

The company plans to assemble LM200s for the European market from Let's Kunovice manufacturing facility, when full-scale production is under way in 2002.

The aircraft will be offered in cargo and passenger/freighter combi versions.

Source: Flight International