Manufacturers outline their production plans at Sun ‘n Fun show in Florida

Availability of new aircraft types, some several years in development, will boost general aviation delivery totals from later this year. Their manufacturers touted production plans at the Sun ‘n Fun show in Lakeland, Florida earlier this month.

Ten years after acquiring the type certificate for the 1940s-vintage Luscombe 11A piston single, Quartz Mountain Aerospace has begun production of the updated Model 11E. The all-metal four-seater is aimed primarily at the training market, and the Altus, Oklahoma-based company has purchase commitments covering the first three years of production from Global Aviation Partners (GAP), which represents more than 100 US flight schools.

Quartz Mountain will deliver the first two aircraft in September and expects to ship half a dozen aircraft this year, but plans to produce 60 in 2007 and ramp up to 250 a year by 2009. GAP will lease the $200,000 aircraft to flight schools, which will also act as dealers.

Certification of the Seawind 300C amphibian is now expected in early September, after delays caused in part by problems securing Canadian government backing. Deliveries are planned to begin in October, and Seawind expects to produce 40 aircraft next year, ramping up to 120 a year.

Initial certification will be visual flight rules only, with instrument flight rules approval planned before year-end. Certification of a digitally controlled Teledyne Continental engine in the all-composite four-seater is to follow, with approval of both a Theilert diesel powerplant and Garmin G1000 glass cockpit scheduled for 2007.

Extra Aircraft is working to finalise financing to launch production of the EA-500 all-composite turboprop single in June. The first aircraft is to be delivered by year-end and the US-owned company plans to build 40 next year. At $1.35 million, the six-seater is substantially cheaper than either the EADS Socata TBM 850 or Pilatus PC-12.

Adam Aircraft hopes to complete certification of the A500 all-composite piston twin by year-end, but is delivering aircraft to customers as it works to remove limitations in the baseline certification awarded last year. An IFR ticket is due this month, followed in May by pressurisation certification and altitude expansion. De-icing approval has been delayed until winter.

Ongoing fatigue testing has extended airframe life, initially limited to 250h, to 1,200h, with the 12,000h design life expected to be cleared by April next year. Colorado-based Adam is to deliver its third A500 this month and says it has a backlog of 72 orders.


Source: Flight International