Comp Air, the Merritt Island, Florida turbine kitmaker that aspires to be a player in business aviation, has announced plans for a smaller, higher-performance model to complement its 10-seat Comp Air 12.

The Comp Air 11 "is going to be a rocket", with a 1,650hp (1,231kW) Honeywell TPE331-14GR as used in the Comp Air 12 providing 360kt (666km/h) at cruising speed, boasts chief operating officer Bill Fedorko. The low-wing aircraft resembles the 310kt Comp Air 12, which is midway through development and is expected to achieve US certification in the first quarter of 2010.

"We felt a little smaller aircraft would be a big seller," says Fedorko, adding that first flight should come in January 2009.

Both the 11 and the Comp Air 9 have six seats, but the 9 gets 1,000hp from its TPE331-12. "A Cessna 206 driver would find the CA9 very comfortable but with speed and utility. It is fast at 240kt and will operate out of remote strips," he says. It will also compete with the Extra 400 following a redesign that makes it a little sleeker and faster.

The 9 will make its public debut in late July at Airventure in Oshkosh and should also fly in July, says Fedorko.

The 12 will be available fully-assembled for $2,950,000. That aircraft gained strakes after flight tests, but expected certification is delayed from early 2010 to late that year Federko says a financing deal to pay for certification is nearly signed. A Hartzell propeller has been dropped in favour of a five-blade McCauley.

A new manufacturing facility may not be located on Merritt Island, as originally planned. "It's too confined there," Fedorko says, adding that they still intend to build in Florida.