Discovery 201 makes SUN ‘n FUN debut

The first Russian aircraft to be privately owned, developed and certified is at this week’s SUN ’n FUN. A partnership of people from around the world, called Discovery Aviation, has the Discovery 201 on display.

The plane is a twin-engine five seater, with massive side doors and access to the rear baggage area through an interesting clamshell door set-up. It can be outfitted with skis and retractible floats.

At present, the airplane is being validated by the FAA.

“Since the plane is already certified in Russia, we need only validate the design with the FAA,” said Discovery Aviation CEO Rick Cunliffe. “The final step before validation will happen next month when FAA officials fly the plane.”

The major structural components will be manufactured in Russia and assembled at Discovery’s Melbourne, Florida, facility. The company is looking to the international market, and with that in mind, “we are testing both the SMA and Continental diesels,” said Cunliffe.

It is not a speed demon at 113 knots, but boasts a 1,455-pound useful load with a 184 gallon fuel capacity. Final pricing hasn’t been determined, but will fall in the $900,000 to $1 million range. Discovery Aviation is located in the Manufacturers Display area, Space 2.

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