Klapmeier Confident of Kestrel Capitalization

 - July 27, 2010, 11:23 AM

Alan Klapmeier, the former chairman of Cirrus and new CEO of Kestrel Aircraft, told AIN yesterday at EAA AirVenture that the company still needs to raise additional funds to certify its six- to eight-seat, 350-knot single-engine turboprop, but was confident it would succeed. Klapmeier said “a huge amount of design work” had already been done on the airplane by previous owner Farnborough Aircraft “with an eye toward certification,” but acknowledged that more work needs to be done on the design in response to market demands and ease of manufacture. “We are going to be editing the design, not starting over.” Klapmeier estimated that $20 million to $30 million “already has been efficiently spent making progress” and said that an additional $100 million is a “ballpark” figure to get the aircraft into production. Klapmeier would not offer specifics but said, “We still have a lot of money we have to come up with.” Part of it will be provided by various government entities in Maine, subject to public approval, as Kestrel moves into facilities at the former Brunswick Landing Naval Air Station, with the remainder coming from private equity. Klapmeier said he “hopes” the aircraft will cost less than a TBM850 and estimates that the company will eventually sell 35 to 50 aircraft annually.