Extra Aircraft’s attempt to build an assembly facility in Montrose, Colo., may have failed, but that has not stopped the company from delivering German-registered Extra 500 turboprop singles in the U.S.
Tomorrow night the Montrose County (Colo.) Commission will consider a revised incentive package aimed at luring Extra Aircraft to build an assembly plant there for its all-composite EA-500 turboprop single. The original deal involved a land transfer that required the county to pay Extra $2.2 million for donated land and provide other incentives, essentially capitalizing a large share of the company’s site start-up costs.
Extra Aircraft announced plans Friday to produce the dormant carbon-fiber-fuselage Extra 500 turboprop single in Montrose, Colo., for $1.65 million per copy, with initial customer deliveries beginning late this year or early next. Extra Aircraft intends to send an initial group of seven to 10 employees to Extra’s factory in Dinslaken, Germany, for production training by summer’s end.
Extra Flugzeugbau of Hunxe, Germany, has operated under insolvency (similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S.) since January and has reportedly been in negotiations with a U.S. investor group for the past several months.
The turboprop variant of the Extra-400, a pressurized six-seat, all-composite airplane built by Extra Flugzeugbau in Hunxe, Germany, made its first flight on April 26, but on April 30 after a 30-min flight the two test pilots on board were forced to make a landing short of the runway. Handling problems were the cause and the damage was minor, according to Tan Siekmann of Extra.
German airframer Extra Flugzeugbau of Hunxe entered insolvency last month, similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S.
Extra Aircraft’s six-seat Extra 500 turboprop single received European Aviation Safety Agency certification last month. According to company officials, production of the Rolls-Royce 250-B17F/2-powered composite airplane is ready to begin at the company’s facility in Hunxe, Germany, as soon as the pending FAA approval is obtained. The first production aircraft is expected to be finished in December.
Proving that insolvency isn’t always the end of the road for an aircraft manufacturer, Lancaster, Pa.-headquartered Extra Aircraft received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification for its all-composite EA-500 turboprop single on July 19. When Extra emerged from insolvency under new ownership last September, it estimated German LBA certification by April.