Ibis Aerospace plans to display for the first time at next month's National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention a completed Ae270 with an executive Spirit interior, as certification of the single-engined aircraft slips again to early January next year.

Two Ae270 production-conforming prototypes are undergoing an intensive seven-days-a-week flight-test schedule to meet this revised deadline, although approval was originally set for December 2003.

Ibis, the joint venture between Aero Vodochody of the Czech Republic and Taiwan's Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation, attributes the delay to poor weather in Prague, where testing is based, and earlier refinements incorporated into the design following customer feedback.

To hasten the certification process, Ibis will approve the standard commuter version first, although the Spirit version accounts for about 95% of the 73 orders and 15 options received so far.


Source: Flight International