Robin New Aircraft debuted its DR401 piston-single at Aero Friedrichshafen, kicking off its sales and marketing campaign for the upgraded version of the 40-year old DR400 series of wooden aircraft.
The Darois, France-based manufacturer resurrected the DR400 line 2012, four years after the collapse of Robin Aircraft’s previous owner Apex Aviation.
Robin New Aircraft is owned by a number of distributors as well as existing customers of the DR400 series. It builds the four-seat aircraft under a collaborative agreement with Centre-Est Aéronautique, Avions Pierre Robin (CAPR), which owns the type certificate and supplies the spare parts for the light single.
“We had a lot of feedback from aircraft distributors and existing customers who said there was a significant market for this aircraft,” says Robin executive Guy Pellissier. “The aircraft are very durable. Around 2,800 DR400s were built over its lifetime. Many of these are still in service and many of the fleet have flown over 20,000 flying hours.”
Pellissier says the DR401 boasts the same fuselage as its predecessor but the interior of the aircraft has undergone a major facelift. Features include a roomier cabin, Garmin G500 flightdeck with S-Tec autopilot, electric controls, leather seats, Bose-type headset sockets and an external power socket. The DR401 is priced at €300,000 ($415,000) for the instrument flight rules version and €200,000 for the visual flight rules model.
“There is strong demand for the DR401 and we plan to deliver the first aircraft at the end of April,” Pellissier says. “We are only building around 1.5 aircraft a month on average but we will ramp up production as soon as we have built up our staffing level in Darois.”