Kestrel Refining Design of Its SE Turboprop

 - October 11, 2011, 6:02 PM

Kestrel Aircraft brought a mockup of its new, wider cabin for its in-development single-engine turboprop to the NBAA Convention in Las Vegas. According to company chairman and CEO Alan Klapmeier, Kestrel has been busy refining the design of the aircraft formerly known as the Farnborough F1. He said Kestrel engineers are now redesigning the aircraft’s engine intake inlet and firewall to accommodate the recently selected 1,650-shp Honeywell TPE331-14GR turboprop engine. “We are getting close to final configuration and we are in the last phase of airframe layout, specifically the fine points of airfoil shape and twist,” Klapmeier told AIN. “At the conclusion of that we will start making airframe tools.” The reworked prototype could fly as early as next year. Kestrel is aiming to produce an aircraft with 325-knot maximum cruise speed, a full-fuel range of 1,300 nm with 1,250 pounds of payload and a price on par with or below that of a Socata TBM 850. Avionics have yet to be chosen, though Klapmeier said he wants to offer two avionics suites for the airplane. The company has attracted sufficient financing to build a production aircraft, but needs additional capital to fund the project through certification. Once in production, Klapmeier estimates a market for 35 to 50 Kestrels annually.