The maiden flight of the Comp Air 12 kept the promise made by company owner Ron Lueck when it ended with the new turboprop-single landing at Sun 'n' Fun. "I knew I'd better make it, or else," he said after flying the aircraft into the show from the company headquarters on Merritt Island, Florida, gear down, at an average of 135kt (250km/h).

Certification of the $2.5 million, pressurised aircraft is expected in early 2010. Lueck says the production aircraft will be 1.5m (5ft) longer than initially planned, based on customer input. The prototype is powered by a Honeywell TPE331-14GR, turning a Hartzell five-blade propeller. An avionics package has not been selected, but Lueck is leaning toward Honeywell's Apex system.

Comp Air is accepting $100,000 deposits on the 300kt-cruise, 4,600km (2,500nm)-range aircraft, which will the first to be certificated by a company better known as a builder of turbine kitplanes.

Source: Flight International