The NTSB’s recently released factual report of the crash last year of a privately owned Aero Vodochody L-39 former military jet trainer that killed a Wall Street Journal reporter riding as a passenger and pilot Michael Chowdry, founder and CEO of cargo carrier Atlas Air, draws attention to the pilot’s skill, experience and attitude, as well as possible severe and sudden changes in the airplane’s handling characteristics when it lost the aft c
News reports of the death of the Ibis Ae270B program are premature, according to Frank Hong, director of the business management division at Taiwan’s Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC). Aero Vodochody and AIDC were planning a joint venture to redesign the Ae270 with new wings and systems, but work has not progressed.
Belgian visualization specialist Barco has been chosen by Aero Vodochody to supply high-definition displays for its L-159 modification program. Aero is converting four
Czech manufacturer Aero Vodochody, founded in 1919, probably lays a fair claim to being the oldest airframer still active today. The company’s days may be numbered, however, if it doesn’t start turning a profit next year.
Ibis Aerospace flew its second production Ae270 Propjet fitted with the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-66A in late February from Aero Vodochody’s flight-test facilities near Prague, Czech Republic.
Certification by the Czech civil aviation authorities of the Ae270 turboprop single has slipped once again, from the second quarter of this year to late August, with FAA certification now anticipated for late September or October (from June), according to Jeff Conrad, v-p of marketing. Expected to join ship number five in the flight-test program soon is aircraft number seven.
Penta Holding, the private-equity firm that in January purchased Ae270 and L-39 manufacturer Aero Vodochody, expects to announce by the end of this month a restructuring plan that will help its aircraft manufacturing division become profitable. Aero Vodochody lost approximately 1 billion Czech crowns last year (about $48 million), and Penta plans to eliminate 450 jobs from the total 1,644 in an effort to regain profitability.
After receiving limited type certification of the Ae270 single-engine turboprop from the Czech Civil Aviation Authority in December, Czech-Slovak private-equity group Penta Holding acquired 100 percent of the shares of Ae270 manufacturer Aero Vodochody. The transaction was completed on January 4, and Aero Vodochody retained its 50-percent ownership of the shares of Ibis Aerospace, a joint venture with Taiwan’s AIDC.
On December 15, the European Aviation Safety Agency awarded the type certificate for the Ibis Aerospace Ae270 turboprop single to Aero Vodochody, the Czech partner in the joint venture with Taiwan’s Aerospace Industries Development. FAA approval is expected shortly. Ibis said its expects to receive additional financing next year that will fund development to the production phase.
Aero Vodochody is demonstrating its L-159B advanced jet trainer at Dubai 2005 in a dynamic flight display, nurturing continuing hopes of sales in the region.