The turboprop variant of the Extra-400, a pressurized six-seat, all-composite airplane built by Extra Flugzeugbau in Hunxe, Germany, made its first flight on April 26, but on April 30 after a 30-min flight the two test pilots on board were forced to make a landing short of the runway. Handling problems were the cause and the damage was minor, according to Tan Siekmann of Extra. The prototype 500 was back flying again in the first week of last month and had accumulated about 25 hr by the middle of the month. A second prototype is due to fly next month.
The 500 is powered by a 450-shp Rolls-Royce 250-B17-F2 turboprop engine driving a five-blade MT reversible composite propeller. Mtow is the same as the EA-400, but the 500’s empty weight is 330 lb less. In flight test the airplane has achieved a 240-kt cruise with a 21-gph fuel burn. Expected max VFR range is 1,700 nm. With five people on board, range would be 1,000 nm, said Siekmann.
Certification is anticipated at the end of the year, “or at the latest the first quarter of 2003.” First delivery is scheduled for February 2003. Equipped price is $1.65 million, including weather radar. Siekmann said the company has firm orders for six airplanes and options for 16.
Founded in 1987, Extra also builds the Extra 200/300 series of aerobatic airplanes, said to be the world’s only sport airplane certified for +/- 10 Gs.