The B-N Group, formerly British-Norman, has the first of its new Islander aircraft on the static display here at the show and the fact that it was flown to Farnborough direct from Bembridge Airport, Isle of Wight, UK, indicates that it may have resolved its recent dispute with the landowner. Failure to agree lease terms had resulted in the landlord's threat to repossess the land.
The company's representative at the show, head of Flight Engineering, Mark Wilson, says B-N Group is in the final stages of discussions and hopes for a speedy resolution to the dispute. "We're confident the Group has a future on the Isle of Wight. The answer to everyone's question is the fact we flew this Islander out of Bembridge, that's positive news," he says.
The distinctive lime-green Islander BN 2B-20, the first produced by the B-N Group since its acquisition by Alawi Zawawi of Oman, is generating a lot of interest down on the static in part because of the company's recent troubles and turbulent past couple of years. Alawi Zawawi says it is ready to make capital investment in B-N to ensure the future of one of Britain's oldest aircraft manufacturers.
The Islander features two 300hp Textron Lycoming piston engines giving it a cruise speed of 265kmh (165mph) and a range of around 932 km (500nm). Britten-Norman launched the Islander in the mid-sixties and over 1200 have been manufactured. The aircraft on show here was assembled by B-N's Romanian sub-contractor Romaero of Bucharest and is destined for a Japanese customer.
B-N will take delivery of a second Islander from Romaero later this month and says an announcement on the sale of a turbine version to a UK police force is imminent.
Source: Flight Daily News