Aerocomp jet joined by turboprop

Aircraft kit builder Aerocomp, not content to build an innovative single-engine jet, is introducing an equally innovative – and equally big – single engine turboprop.

The Comp Air Jet completed more than 30 hours of flight testing at Titusville, Florida, during the winter, returning to the firm’s Merritt Island base in January.

The jet was tested at Titusville because the airport offered long, multiple runways and relatively light traffic, Aerocomp partner and test pilot Ron Lueck said. Merritt Island’s single runway is 3,600 feet long, but with the most critical tests out of the way, the rest will be run at the company’s home airport. The jet kit’s systems and other installations also will be finalized during this period, and the painting and interior will be completed, Lueck said.

Seeing customer interest in ever-larger and more sophisticated airplanes, Aerocomp designed, and is building, the Comp Air 12, a 275-knot turboprop kit capable of carrying up to eight passengers a distance of 2,800 miles.

The Comp Air 12 will be powered by a Lycoming T53 engine with 5,000 hours TBO. It will share its composite fuselage, wing and empennage with the Comp Air Jet, and will sell for $449,000 without avionics, Aerocomp partner Steve Young said. First flight is expected around the middle of this year.

“The Comp Air 12 is a natural extension of our line of turbine aircraft, which have been growing in size and passenger-carrying capabilities over the past several years,” Young explained.

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