In The Works: Utilicraft FF-1080-300

 - January 29, 2007, 4:50 AM

American Utilicraft last month said it will spin off Utilicraft Aerospace Industries, a newly formed Nevada corporation, as part of an agreement with The Navajo Nation, which is investing $34 million in exchange for a 25-percent stake in the new company. The funds will be used for Phase I FAA certification for the FF-1080-300 freight feeder.

Upon completion of the transaction, American Utilicraft shareholders will receive one share of Utilicraft Aerospace Industries common stock for each share of the existing company. Under the new structure, non-management shareholders will own 24 percent of the new company, while Utilicraft president and CEO John Dupont and v-p and general manager Darby Boland will jointly own 51 percent of the company’s common shares.

According to Navajo Nation president Joe Shirley Jr., the arrangement calls for establishing three aircraft subassembly plants on the Navajo Nation. However, Utilicraft has reaffirmed that its final assembly facility will be at the Double Eagle II Airport in Albuquerque, N.M.

Utilicraft Aerospace has an order from Global Air Group of Brisbane, Australia, for 100 FF-1080 Freight Feeders, a deal said to be worth $1.2 billion. The company also has an agreement with WSI Hong Kong for 300 FF-1080s.

The FF-1080 is an aluminum high-wing twin turboprop specifically designed as a utility air freighter. Utilicraft said the 70,000-pound-mtow fixed-gear airplane can transport 20,000 pounds up to 1,000 nm. No dates were disclosed for certification or deliveries.