A recently approved $30 million federal tax credit package will help Kestrel Aircraft (Booth No. 5585) bolster its presence in Superior, Wis., as the company develops a new single-engine turboprop. The funding, announced in early September, 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 planemaker 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,” noted Kestrel president and CEO Alan Klapmeier, 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 will be done.”
The company anticipates certification of the Kestrel single-engine turboprop in three years. Kestrel recently completed a full-scale fuselage mockup, showing what Klapmeier believes is “an actual representation of what the final airplane will be.” The mockup incorporates several changes over the original JP10 prototype built by Farnborough Aircraft. Differences include a taller cabin with greater passenger volume, a steeper windscreen and larger windows. The changes will increase usability and make the aircraft “much more attractive,” according to Klapmeier. Power is provided by a Honeywell TPE331-14 turbine engine.
The Kestrel mockup, which includes a unique stowable potty in the lower section of a rear cabinet, is on display at the Kestrel booth. –R.F.