Express Aircraft has begun flight testing a turboprop-powered, retractable-gear development of its Series 2000 high-performance four-place kitplane. Meanwhile, gyroplane developer Groen Brothers Aviation has formed American Autogyro to develop designs in the kit-built and forthcoming light-sport aircraft categories.

The all-composite Express Series 2000RG is powered by a 410kW (550shp) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-20. Kit price is $62,500, with a completed aircraft expected to cost around $200,000. There are seven kits under construction, says the Olympia, Washington-based company, which estimates there are 60Express kitplanes flying and 80 more being built.

American Autogyro's first product is a stability augmentation kit for the RAF 2000 single-seat autogyro. This substantially redesigns the empennage to improve safety. Kit deliveries were expected to begin in late February. Based on this design, the company is producing the Sparrow Hawk two-seat gyroplane kit, deliveries of which are expected to begin before the end of the third quarter.

Source: Flight International