A CZECH entrepreneur has taken control of Motorlet and promises to turn around the troubled engine manufacturer within 18 months. The company is also to be returned to its pre-communist name of Walter.

Local investor Emil Fould purchased two-thirds of the company's shares on 2 March for a reported CKr500 million ($18 million). The remaining 34% will stay with the Aero State holding company.

The company's debts have risen to around CKr1 billion, while new orders from its traditional markets in Eastern Europe have dwindled.

US certification of the M-601E-11 turboprop should open up new Western markets, says marketing director Jiri Blatny, highlighting the North American market for crop-spraying aircraft.

Source: Flight International