The team that is working to bring the amphibious Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-powered Turbine Mallard into production has been traveling globally to talk to potential customers and possible manufacturing partners, according to general manager Sam Jantzen. “We currently have some interest from manufacturers and from other investment groups to partner in this project,” he told AIN. “The next generation of the [Frakes] family has decided they would like the aircraft to go back into production, as they have continued to receive inquires from various entities around the world asking about a return to production.”
Frakes Aviation, parent company of Mallard Aircraft, owns the type certificates for the Grumman Widgeon, Goose and Mallard, he added. “The company coordinated with the FAA to in-draw the STC for the PT6 engine into the Mallard type certificate.” The last turbine conversion of a Mallard was in the 1980s.
Mallard Aircraft hasn’t yet set a price for new-production Turbine Mallards, Jantzen explained. “However, it could be anticipated to fall within the range of similar-size aircraft.” The goal is to be in production in next year’s second quarter, he added. While an earlier statement suggested that the company planned on a Rockwell Collins flight deck, he said, “The avionics offering will be determined as we complete our research of potential end-users. At this stage all have requested flat-panel screens, of course. We will make this decision later.”
The final decision on the engines has not been made, although Jantzen said it would be easier to stick with the already-certified 715-shp PT6-34. “We have already had several talks with Pratt & Whitney. The -34 would make it easier, as it is already the engine certified; however, we are keeping this option open for now as there could possibly be some benefits in changing dash numbers.”