Czech-Taiwanese joint venture Ibis Aerospace has conducted the successful first flight of its Ae 270 single-engined turboprop. The aircraft took off from Prague on 25 July, completing a 20min flight with gear down and flaps extended. The aircraft reached 110kt (200km/h) and 4,000ft (1,200m).

The first prototype is an Ae 270P, which has a pressurised cabin and a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42 engine. Ibis says: "We are looking at larger P&WC powerplants, allowing more mission-specific - higher speed, higher altitude - flight profiles. It is our intention that this will be a small family of aircraft."

The test programme includes the production of five prototypes, including two static test airframes. The aircraft is due for certification at the end of next year or in early 2002.

Ibis says that the company has deliberately avoided gathering orders until the start of flight testing, but is "very confident" that first orders will be announced by the time of the National Business Aviation Association convention in October.

Source: Flight International