Comp Air Aviation of Merritt Island, Florida, and Downing Aviation Associates of Phoenix, joined forces last month to secure funding, engineering and operational resources for Comp Air’s new, 310-knot, single engine Model 12 turboprop aircraft.
The Model 12, the latest Comp Air design, had its first flight in March. It is currently in flight testing at the Comp Air facilities at Merritt Island Airport.
The new airplane, an eight-place, pressurized turboprop with 2,500 nautical miles range, will enter final design and certification testing shortly, with planned production commencing in mid-2010, according to Comp Air CEO Ron Lueck.
“Downing Aviation Associates will provide general marketing support and business development assistance to Comp Air Aviation, and leverage our extensive expertise in defining engineering and operations resources to help them execute this program,” said Art Manni, senior associate at DAA. “We will provide engine installation and nacelle design recommendations, as well, since those are specific areas where we offer expertise.”
Comp Air expects design and flight-testing to continue in Merritt Island while alternative, larger production facilities for major sections and final assembly are explored, both in Florida and at other suitable areas. “We are looking for sites that can meet our people resource and operational requirements,” Lueck said.
He described the Model 12 as “combining new levels of comfort, speed and range for the single-engine turbine market segment. It represents well-thought-out design and the utilization of modern materials and proven systems, the most obvious being the efficient and powerful Honeywell TPE331-14 turboprop engine,” he said.
“We expect to offer a combination of performance and utility that not only elevate the single engine turboprop segment but challenge a good portion of the expanding entry level or very light jet product base,” he concluded.
The airplane will be at AirVenture in Oshkosh from July 23-26. Aircraft program briefings will be provided by Comp Air, according to DAA’s Manni. “We expect to gather market survey and customer feedback, as well,” he added.
The airplane also will be on exhibit at this year’s National Business Aviation Association convention in Atlanta, he reported.
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