First flight of the third flying single-turboprop Ibis Ae270 conforming prototype (S/N 5), previously expected last fall, is now expected to take place this month. It is the first prototype powered by the more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66A turboprop slated for the Ae270HP. Rated at 1,583 eshp (thermodynamic), the engine is derated to 850 shp (takeoff). The PT6A-42A in the first (S/N 1) and second (S/N 3) flying prototypes is rated at 1,029 eshp (thermodynamic). Last year Ibis officials decided to focus certification efforts on the Ae270HP instead of the P model. Certification by the Polish authorities is expected in September, with FAA approval to FAR Part 23 to follow by the end of the year. First customer deliveries are planned for early next year. All five previous orders for the P model were converted to HP orders, which now stand at 67 airplanes, with options for six more.
Ibis Aerospace, a joint venture of Aero Vodochody of the Czech Republic and AIDC of Taiwan, reported that S/N 3 completed a series of flight tests in December that reduce the number of hours required to be flown by S/N 5 for certification. The company also announced the appointment of Rheinland Air Service, Germany, as an Ae270 distributor.