Graham Warwick/WASHINGTON DC

Maverick Air has a new owner who has pledged the financing required to develop a certificated version of the US company's TwinJet kitplane.

Colorado businessman Jim McCotter has purchased a majority ownership in Maverick, and plans to set up a new company to develop and produce the certificated aircraft. President Bob Schultz says the company, yet to be named, plans to deliver the first production aircraft "in 28 months".

Negotiations are under way with engine suppliers, including Agilis and Williams International, with a powerplant decision expected "in the next 30 days", says Schultz. Williams is offering to deliver its FJ33 turbofan within 12 months, matching plans for flying a prototype of the certificated aircraft.

The TwinJet kitplane is powered by two uncertificated turbojets which Maverick produces by modifying ex-military General Electric T58 turboshaft engines. The T58 produces 750lb-thrust (3.3kN), but Schultz says the certificated aircraft will need 1,000lb-thrust engines. The FJ33, if selected, would be derated from 1,500lb-thrust.

The certificated development of the all-composite TwinJet will be priced at around $1.2-1.4 million and will be an "honest" four seater, says Schultz. The kitplane has a 350kt (400km/h) cruise speed and 1,800km (970nm) range.

Penrose, Colorado-based Maverick has delivered five of the $219,000 kits to date (engines cost an additional $110,000 a pair), and expects the first customer-built aircraft to fly later this year.

Source: Flight International