The Aviation Alliance’s plan to remanufacture Cessna 421s and Gulfstream GIIIs is moving forward, according to managing director Geoff Miller, despite financial setbacks that have caused delays. Some people, such as former Cessna CEO Jack Pelton, and partners are no longer associated with the Alliance, and a new source of funding had to be found. “That’s why there was a hesitation in the cash flow,” Miller told AIN.
The original plan called for Ventura Aerospace to engineer the programs, but Ventura is no longer associated with the Alliance. “We have terminated our relationship with them, as of 45 days ago,” said Mike Snow, vice president of Ventura’s Aircraft Technical Service division. He added that the Aviation Alliance owes money to Ventura, “and we quite honestly don’t expect to see it.” Miller said he is paying Ventura what it is owed and has found new partners for engineering and marketing.
The 421 Excalibur program replaces the Continental geared piston engines with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-135As and adds aerodynamic and other improvements for a finished price of $2.6 million. Program costs ballooned, however, in part because much of the Jack Riley re-engining STC that the Alliance bought had to be redone. The GIII Fanstream program aims to re-engine with P&WC geared turbofans that will boost range to nearly 5,000 nm.