In The Works: Ibis Ae270

 - May 21, 2008, 7:49 AM

While the first Ibis Aerospace Ae270 has logged about 75 flight hours, the second flying prototype (aircraft number three) is now not expected to make its first flight for another few weeks, according to Jeff Conrad, Ibis marketing director. “It’s about 90 percent complete,” he told AIN, “but often the last 10 percent is the hardest part.” He explained that the Czech Republic CAA is inspecting the airplane at each step of the way, as it did with the first prototype. Earlier this year, aircraft number three was expected to fly in February, then June. The number-two aircraft is being used for static testing. At the Paris Air Show, Ibis Aerospace, a joint venture of Czech Aero Vodochody and Taiwan’s AIDC, announced that it holds firm orders for 27 of the turboprop singles and memorandums of understanding for 24 more, a backlog estimated at $100 million. All orders are from distributors, which Ibis is actively signing. Two versions of the airplane are being developed: the basic Ae270P, powered by a 1,029-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42A engine; and an “advanced” Ae270HP, powered by a 1,583-shp PT6A-66A. Both engine types will be flat-rated to 850 shp for takeoff. The first Ae270HP (aircraft number five) is scheduled for assembly later this year. Certification of the basic version is planned for late in the second quarter next year and first deliveries in the early fourth quarter. The advanced version is expected to be certified in the latter part of next year.