Kitplane manufacturer Comp Air (formerly AeroComp) expects to fly its first certificated aircraft - the Comp Air 12 - by November, but has dropped plans to enter the light sport category.

Ron Lueck, owner of Comp Air, detailed the company's product strategy at last month's AirVenture show at Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The Comp Air 12 was revealed in November 2005 and is "60% complete", Lueck says. The eight-to 10-seat pressurised aircraft has retractable landing gear and is capable of 320kt (590km/h) using its 1,650shp (1,230kW) Honeywell TPE331-14GR engine with Hartzell five-bladed propeller. With a wingspan of 14m (48ft) and length of 12.6m, the certificated Comp Air 12 will cost about $2.5 million, says Lueck, compared with a kit version at $249,000 without avionics, engine, paint or interior.

"The Comp Air 12 is about the same size as a [Pilatus] PC-12 and we expect it to manufacture at less cost than the PC-12, so we would enter into competition with them," says Lueck.

The Comp Air 9 will be a pressurised, eight-passenger, fixed-gear turbine single with a Honeywell TPE331-10 engine producing 940shp. The aircraft, which is only "10% done", says Lueck, should climb at 2,000ft/min (10m/s) at its MTOW of 3,500kg (7,700lb) and cruise at 240kt. Projected price is $1.5 million and Comp Air says it expects it to be flightworthy by the first quarter of 2007.

Lueck says Comp Air has opted not to develop the proposed Merlin light-sport aircraft because the market is becoming too crowded.

Source: Flight International