TITUSVILLE, Florida — Comp Air Aviation has a long history of building high-performance composite aircraft. Over the past 15 years the company has been busy building carbon composite aircraft with an eye toward FAA certification. So, when John Meekins, owner of Privateer Industries, set out to find a company to finish his dream project of building “the first new amphibian design in over 60 years” he recognized the experience of Comp Air Aviation…and a team was formed.
The PRIVATEER was developed to be the safest design possible for water and land operations, according to company officials. The aircraft is built of carbon fiber composites, making a light and strong airframe that is protected against the corrosion often associated with water-borne aircraft. This light structure, combined with the 724-hp Walter 601 series turbine engine, will deliver performance not seen by previous amphibians, company officials state.
In addition to being an industrial real estate developer, pilot, entrepreneur and inventor, Meekins wanted to purchase a seaplane that he could safely use to carry his family and friends to and from his waterfront property. After test flying several seaplanes, he decided they each had their own safety or performance issues. A short time later, he decided to design a modern amphibian that could carry five to six passengers, incorporate modern design ideas and be safe for his family. He started sketching and sent the drawings to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and had them evaluate his design. They returned a positive report on his amphibian. Next, he wanted to have a proof of concept prototype built but needed to find someone to build it.
Comp Air Aviation is one of the oldest kit manufacturers in the world. It is currently working on the FAA certification process with the Comp Air 12 and Comp Air 9 aircraft.