A $30 million federal tax credit package approved last week will help Kestrel Aircraft bolster its presence in Superior, Wis., as the company develops its new turboprop single.
The funding is the first of three such allocations planned for Kestrel through the New Market Tax Credit program, and part of a $118 million package of local, state and federal incentives announced in February for the aspiring aircraft manufacturer to establish its headquarters and production facilities in the state.
“This was just one little piece of the entire capital stack, but a very important piece,” Kestrel president and CEO Alan Klapmeier told AIN, adding the company will net approximately $7.5 million after fees and expenses. “With this cash more people will be hired and more engineering work done.”
The company anticipates certification of its turboprop single in three years. Kestrel recently completed a full-scale fuselage mockup that incorporates several changes from the original JP10 prototype built by predecessor Farnborough Aircraft.
Differences include a taller cabin with greater passenger volume, a steeper windshield and larger windows–changes to increase usability and make the aircraft “much more attractive,” according to Klapmeier. Power will come from a Honeywell TPE331-14.
The Kestrel mockup will be displayed this week at the Reno Air Races in Nevada, and will also be shown at the upcoming AOPA and NBAA conventions.