AviaBellanca Aircraft hopes to certificate and manufacture a six-seat light aircraft first flown more than 20 years ago, but never produced. The single example of the Bellanca-designed SkyRocket II is expected to be flown this month, having been in storage since 1982.

Reston, Virginia-based AviaBellanca plans to produce an improved version of the low-wing, retractable-gear aircraft, dubbed the SkyRocket III. Fitted with the same turbocharged Teledyne Continental GTSIO-550 which powers the II, this aircraft would cruise at 285kt (530km/h) and have a range of 1,330km (2,000nm).

AviaBellancs will compete with Raytheon, with its Beech Bonanza, and New Piper Aircraft, plying its Malibu Mirage.

The Virginian manufacturer plans to raise the $7 million required to certificate the aircraft in part by selling the SkyRocket III initially as a kitplane, costing $75,000 minus engine and avionics. The aircraft is planned to be available in kit form in 1998. US Part 23 certification is targeted for 1999.

Source: Flight International