Last year, officials at Farnborough Aircraft of Farnborough, England, “spent most of the year on the investment trail,” according to Jonathan Sumner, marketing director. The search for additional funding continues this year, but the prospects appear brighter. “We’re talking in detail to a few interested parties,” he said.
Farnborough Aircraft has also reduced the total amount of equity it is seeking, from the $125 million it was seeking last year, but Sumner would not specify an exact amount. The firm’s lead investor, Geoffrey Galley, continues to support the project.
“There seems to be greater confidence in the investment market, both in general and for light airplanes such as the F1,” Sumner said. “The success of the fractional-aircraft companies and other turbine-airplane programs, such as the Eclipse, Safire and Mustang, give more visibility and credibility to this segment of the industry.”
Although a few engineers are working again on the design of the F1 turboprop single, Sumner said it’s impossible to give any predictions on when the airplane will fly or obtain certification. “We obviously have a project timeline, but its implementation depends on securing funding,” he said. “Overall, things are developing, but we’re not out of the woods yet.”