Czech manufacturer sets up base on continent as it pushes to increase market share

Czech Republic-based general aviation aircraft company Evektor Aerotechnik has established a sales and marketing base in North America to promote its expanding product line on the continent.

The Kunovice-based company is tight-lipped about the location of the new site "for the time being", but says success in the USA and Canada is vital. The two countries are forecast to eventually account for 70% of the company's sales.

Evektor manufactures the Eurostar ultralight Harmony trainer and SportStar two-seat piston single, which last month became one of the first two aircraft to qualify under the US Federal Aviation Administration's special light-sport aircraft category. Evektor says the approval has been a major boost and could represent production of around 90 aircraft a year for the US market alone.

The Czech company says it manufactures 100 aircraft a year and has sold 500 light aircraft in 30 countries. Evektor is also aggressively pursuing certification of its VUT100 Cobra. The all-metal, four-seat aircraft made its first flight in November and is set for European certification and first deliveries late next year.

Evektor says the aircraft, which made its international debut last month at the Aero general aviation show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, will be launched on the US market in July at the Experimental Aircraft Association show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

"We will begin taking orders for the Cobra in the second half of the year," Evektor says. "Based on the response we have received for the aircraft so far we expect to produce up to 120 aircraft a year."

Meanwhile, first flight of the EV-55 nine- to 14-seat utility twin turboprop is earmarked for 2007, leading to certification in 2008.



Source: Flight International