Quest Aircraft’s new Kodiak high-wing, fixed-gear turboprop single successfully completed its 50th flight on January 11, just three months after the aircraft made its maiden flight and some two years after the start-up company dedicated its 27,000-sq-ft research-and-development facility in Sandpoint, Idaho. The prototype Kodiak–a 10-place, float- capable STOL aircraft powered by a single 750-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A–as of last month had logged about 40 flight hours.
Tom Hamilton, formerly of Stoddard-Hamilton Aircraft, is Quest Aircraft’s CEO, and Bruce Kennedy, former CEO of Alaska Airlines, is serving as chairman of the board. The company has submitted the flight-test program, which will continue through early next year, to the FAA’s Seattle Aircraft Certification Office. Quest Aircraft is now building an additional 57,000-sq-ft facility, which will give the company a total area of 84,000 sq ft for production of the Kodiak.
The Kodiak prototype was expected to undergo exterior painting late last month, before FAA flight testing of the turboprop single begins. Quest Aircraft plans to debut the sub-$1 million, 6,750-pound-mtow Kodiak at the Alaska Airmen’s Trade Show in May, where the company will announce the airplane’s performance numbers.