OMF Aircraft plans certification of up to three additional versions of its recently unveiled OMF-160 Symphony high-wing piston single in the next three years. The German company has, meanwhile, set the price of the basic aircraft at $105,000.

"We will have a family of four aircraft in production by about 2003," says OMF programme manager Tim Wright. He confirms that these are likely to include an instrument flight rules variant, a three-seat model and a diesel-engined version (Flight International, 30 May -5 June).

Wright says market interest is particularly strong for the diesel aircraft due to the current high price of kerosene, even in the USA. "There are at least 11 reputable manufacturers working on diesel engines," says Wright.

"Of those, three are serious, and we are collaborating with the manufacturer that is closest to certification," he adds.

OMF envisages an annual production rate of 300 aircraft by 2003, made up of around 125 OMF-160s, and the rest accounted for by the three new versions internally referred to as the -161, -180 and -181.

The -160 is based on the Arlington Aircraft Developments designed GlaStar kitplane which is still sold in the USA by Stoddard-Hamilton Aircraft.

The OMF-160, which is constructed from metal and glass reinforced plastic, is to receive parallel European and US certification during the third quarter this year.

The manufacturer has put together a leasing package for flying schools in Germany, Austria and Switzerland which it claims is "financially attractive" and allows training programmes to be run at "competitive hourly rates with minimum maintenance costs". A number of the schools have "already committed to buying some of the first production aircraft", it adds.

Source: Flight International