Grob Regaining Its Stride as Third SPn Takes Flight
The third prototype of the Grob SPn flew for the first time yesterday, lifting off the runway at 9:28 a.m. from the company’s airfield at Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany. S/N 003’s first flight lasted 1 hour and 44 minutes and followed extensive ground testing of systems such as fuel, engines, hydraulics, landing gear and avionics. At the controls were chief test pilot Tore Reimers and test pilot Peter Weger. Meanwhile, production of a fourth test aircraft is now at an advanced stage, and the manufacturer expects to have this airborne before year-end. Grob engineers are now reassessing progress made in the flight-test program to decide whether or not they will need to delay the company’s target for achieving type certification by the end of next year’s second quarter. The decision will hinge on the latest estimate of how many more flight hours will need to be logged to complete remaining tests. Fatigue testing of the SPn is due to begin by year-end.