In mid-April, Ibis Aerospace conducted indirect lightning tests on its 10-seat Ae270 turboprop single. According to the company, these tests were under the control of the Czech Civil Aviation Authority inspectors and EMCC of Germany.
“More strict regulations demanded new testing methods and work techniques, and the Ae270 is the first Czech aircraft that has to fulfill these strict criteria,” noted a company spokesman. Under these regulations, the Ae270 and its systems must be resistant to lightning, which can damage aircraft electrical systems and flight-critical avionics.
At the same time, the company is working with Czech authorities to complete further necessary data, mainly reports, calculations and analysis. In total, the Ae270 certification effort requires more than 250 flight tests and submission of about 200 reports before the aircraft can receive approval. Ibis said it is still on track to receive Ae270 type certification by the end of this month.
Meanwhile, reports have surfaced that the company will need to modify the Ae270’s design to meet initial performance numbers. According to industry sources, customers will be given the choice of accepting an aircraft with lower-than-expected performance, waiting for a redesigned version or canceling their order. Ibis said a redesigned aircraft could have an aerodynamically cleaner wing, as well as an improved airframe and structure. The company has completed a preliminary study of the redesign, and a board decision about what action to take is pending.