Morrow Aircraft is close to securing extra funding needed to resume development of its Rutan-inspired Boomerang piston twin. But first deliveries are still set for late 2002, despite the delay in clinching the required investment.

Dale Johnson, Morrow's vice-president of product management, says: "We are at the point where we are getting a package together to complete manufacture of the prototype. We will then fine-tune the design and go to the FAA [US Federal Aviation Administration] for certification with a known timeframe."

Originally built by Burt Rutan as his personal aircraft, the Boomerang is designed to eliminate the single-engined handling problems experienced with most conventional twins. The wings are swept forward, making stalls "impossible", says Johnson, while the twin boom-mounted engines are close to the centre of lift, minimising thrust asymmetry.

The six-seat aircraft is about 15% longer than Rutan's original, with a 20% larger payload. Powered by turbocharged, Teledyne Continental TSIO-550s, flat-rated to 240kW (325hp), it will have a maximum cruise speed of 300kt (555km/h), and a range of 4,625km (2,500nm) - "considerably further than estimated". The aircraft will also be pressurised to 0.483bar (7lb/in2), allowing it to cruise at 25,000ft (7,600m).

Source: Flight International