Ibis Aerospace, the joint venture between Czech company Aero Vodochody and Taiwan's Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC), plans to launch a sales and marketing campaign for the single-turboprop Ae270 utility aircraft following its first flight in February.

"We want to establish a certification and delivery timetable before we start selling the aircraft," says Ibis marketing director Jeffrey Conrad.

"We shall roll out the first of five Ae270 prototypes on 10 December to coincide with Aero Vodochody's 80th birthday. We hope to receive Czech and US certification in the first quarter of 2001," he says. First deliveries are scheduled for the fourth quarter.

The US company anticipates a "huge" market from private owners, cargo and commercial passenger operators for the pressurised Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42A-powered Ae270P, priced at around $1.895 million. Sales prospects in Australia, Canada and the USA have been boosted by recent regulatory changes allowing single-engined aircraft to operate under commercial instrument flight rules.

The Ae270 will also be available in a non-pressurised version, powered by a Walter M601 F and with fixed landing gear. The AE270W, priced at about $1.395 million, will be rolled out in the third quarter of next year. Assembly is carried out by Aero in the Czech Republic, while AIDC provides several structures, including the wing.

Source: Flight International