Farnborough F1 gets its wings

 - September 20, 2006, 11:15 AM

The saga between Farnborough Aircraft and Epic Aircraft parent Aircraft Investor Resources (AIR) continues. In February a Superior Court judge presiding over the lawsuit between the two companies granted an injunction allowing Farnborough access to the F1/Jestrel JP100 prototype that AIR was building under an agreement. He also gave AIR until March 1 to deliver to Farnborough a set of wings and horizontal stabilizer for the all-composite F1 prototype.

Within days of the court order, Farnborough personnel moved the prototype, which was missing its previously installed wings and horizontal stabilizer, from AIR’s Bend, Ore. facility to a nearby hangar to finish assembly of the turboprop single.

According to Farnborough Aircraft commercial director Richard Blain, AIR did indeed deliver the wings and horizontal stabilizer by the court-imposed deadline. However, he said that the wings have “manufacturing defects,” including debonding of one of the composite flaps; an improperly sealed fuel tank; and missing cover inspections for the flaps, among other items.

“We’ve asked a [designated airworthiness representative] to inspect the wing and record these manufacturing deficiencies, for which we are currently developing repairs,” he told AIN. Despite these problems, Blain still expects the F1 prototype to make its first flight in June or July.

A two-week arbitration hearing to resolve the remaining disputes is scheduled for June 12. The Superior Court judge said in his brief that he hopes both parties will be able to resolve their issues outside of the court.