In The Works: Grob G160 Ranger

 - October 4, 2007, 12:12 PM

Since its first flight on March 29, the first prototype G160 Ranger, German manufacturer Grob-Werke’s second turboprop model, had accumulated more than 20 hours on 20 flights by the middle of last month. Two G160 flight-test aircraft will be used, with the second expected to fly in the fourth quarter of this year. JAA certification and the first customer delivery are expected in the second quarter of next year and FAA certification in the third quarter. The seven-seat G160 turboprop single is an expansion of the four-seat G140TP, which first flew in December 2002 and is expected to obtain certification late this year.

Powered by a single, 850-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42A turboprop engine, the G160 is designed to reach a maximum cruise speed of 270 knots and achieve a maximum range of 2,200 nm and a fully loaded range of 1,800 nm. Targeted maximum useful load is 1,584 pounds. Like all other Grob aircraft, the G160’s fuselage is made of carbon-fiber composites.

Even more than the G140TP, the pressurized G160 is targeted at the corporate market. Its cabin is 16.5 feet long, 5.2 feet wide and 4.7 feet tall. Standard seating is 2+4+1. An eighth seat can replace the standard lav. Amenities include reading lights, foldout tables and power connections for laptops.

Cockpit avionics currently include the Honeywell EFS 40 electronic flight-information system, also in use on the G120 piston single and G140TP, but Grob-Werke plans to make the Honeywell Apex available in the G160 in 2006.

Grob-Werke showed the G160 Ranger for the first time publicly at ILA 2004 in Berlin last month. Price of the airplane is e2.3 million (about $2.8 million). Grob-Werke requires a deposit of e20,000 (about $24,000) to secure a delivery position, but has not yet announced the number of airplanes for which it holds orders.