Symphony Aircraft Industries (SAI), the new owner of the Symphony line of high-wing piston singles, plans to offer a diesel-engine version of the four-seat Symphony 250 with German company OMF Flugzeugwerke. The move comes as the Canadian aircraft developer establishes its dealership network and prepares the first aircraft, a two-seat Symphony 160, for roll- out in December.
Trois-Rivières-based SAI has earmarked first deliveries of C$170,000 ($130,000) Symphony 160s for this year and plans to deliver up to 50 aircraft next year. "They will be a mix of avgas and diesel variants," says SAI president Paul Costanzo. The diesel version of the Symphony 160, called the 135D, is being developed by OMF Flugzeugwerke, which acquired the assets of OMF following its bankruptcy and is responsible for assembling and marketing the Symphony line in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. The 135D is powered by the Thielert Aircraft Engines Centurion 1.7 diesel-cycle engine and is earmarked for certification next year, Costanzo says.
"The prospects for diesel aircraft are good," Costanzo says. "If the market demands it, we will produce the aircraft in North America." Costanzo says it is early days for the diesel 250. "We have to evaluate the engines available, including the Centurion 4.0, but we are in no hurry," he says. SAI plans to certificate the avgas-powered 250 in late 2006.
Meanwhile, the company is finalising agreements with up to 20 dealers, which will fall under the responsibility of its new subsidiary American Symphony. Costanzo says the Moline, Illinois-based offshoot has been formed to oversee marketing, sales, deliveries and after-sales support of the Symphony line.
KATE SARSFIELD / LONDON
Source: Flight International