Comp Air has secured $150m of capital from MercMed LLC, the company announced today at the show. “The cash investment is enough to see us through certification and get production started,” says chief executive Ron Lueck.

Comp Air also announced that it is close to signing the lease for a facility in Melbourne, Florida that could become its manufacturing base. “We’d like to stay in the NASA area, and tap into the huge technological workforce in the region,” he says.

Lueck would like to have the first conforming aircraft built within a year but admits “this is a lofty goal”. The certification process has started, and Lueck says the engineers are effectively begging to reverse-engineer the current flying CA-12.

Comp Air 12 

The company holds 20 firm orders for the low-wing, single-turboprop airplane, but Lueck adds: “We are close to signing a contract with an air taxi operator that will take 25 aircraft in the first year of production and then another 125 thereafter. Our aircraft gives customers so much more airplane,” explains Lueck. “Single-engine isn’t an issue anymore.”

The company is also working on other aircraft which includes a low-wing variant of its high-wing Comp Air 9 called the Comp Air 11. “We hope to have the prototype built and unveil it at the Lakeland show in April next year,” adds Lueck.

The Comp Air 12 will be certified under FAR23 regulations and is expected to be certificated in 2011. Lueck believes the real appeal for air taxi operators is the fact that it can take six passengers with two crew and baggage. “Even though this aircraft will be single-pilot certified, a lot of the time insurance companies will stipulate a minimum of two crew,” he says.


Source: Flight Daily News