Taiwanese investors are unlikely to provide money to help revive the Century Aerospace CA-100 twin-engined light business jet project before the end of next year at the earliest due to the latest Asian economic downturn.

The Committee for Aviation and Space Industry Development (CASID) at the economic affairs ministry, which had been co-ordinating participation by Taiwanese industry in the CA-100, says its involvement is "suspended".

Century has already admitted the CA-100 programme is "dormant" after its failure to secure US investors and a manufacturing site.

"We don't want to put all the cash in from Taiwan," says CASID director David Chu. "We want to see that US investors are showing interest."

CASID has been promoting involvement by Taiwanese industry in the CA-100 for more than a year, but the prospects for going ahead appear dim after Taiwan's economy hit a downturn once again. "The time is not right - I doubt that we can find enough investors," says Chu.

He says he also wants to see more detailed information about the CA-100's market prospects.

Taiwanese companies which had planned to take on CA-100 production work include Aerospace Industrial Development, Chen-feng Machinery & Enterprise, Fon Sou Machinery, Gongin Precision Industry, Jui Li Enterprise and Topkey.

Taiwan aims to increase its presence in the business aircraft market and hopes to produce an indigenous design within 10 years.

Century suffered a setback last month after its plans to build the CA-100 at the Alliance Aerospace facility in Georgia fell through. It claims to still be talking to potential investors and requires $60-80 million in additional funding, on top of the $10 million it has already spent.

Source: Flight International