A Minneapolis company is making plans to produce and sell a new single-engine turbine utility aircraft designed and outfitted for transporting cargo and featuring a “roll-up containerization” concept that it expects to become a worldwide standard.
There may be some pilots who fly airplanes solely because it’s a soft ride to a bloated paycheck, and they may think EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., is only about little airplanes that “aren’t serious.” But most pilots don’t.
PC-12 flight planning seems to work out best at 260 kt, which means a 1,200-nm trip with IFR reserves will keep you in the cabin for 4.5 hr. But passengers who have flown the airlines will find that spending a long trip time in the Pilatus is a treat because of all the extra space and the working toilet. Since the potty is up front, the crew can use the facility without disturbing passengers.
Merritt Island, Fla.-based Comp Air took the wraps off two new aircraft–the CA-9 and CA-11–yesterday at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla., bringing its planned turboprop-single line to three models. The two new airplanes and the larger CA-12 are all composite and powered by the Honeywell TPE331. The $1.6 million CA-9–a six-place, high-wing airplane with fixed gear–is expected to cruise at 250 knots and have a range of 2,200 nm.
Cirrus Design, the Duluth, Minn. manufacturer of SR20 and SR22 piston singles, does have a jet in its future plans, but don’t expect to hear much about it before the end of this year. When (and if) you do, it may well be that the design will wind up with a single engine.
Kevin Laufer, a GIV captain for an international reinsurance company based in Bermuda and the owner of a 1946 Globe Swift, recently established the Tailwheel Pilots Association (TPA). He says that 1,000 taildragger enthusiasts have already joined.
If you’re looking for evidence the single-engine turboprop is an aircraft whose time has come, Comp Air Aviation (Booth No. 8842) believes its Comp Air 12 is exhibit A. Powered by a 1,650-hp Honeywell TPE331-14GR engine, the Comp Air 12 is voluminous composite eight-place aircraft with a projected cruise speed of 310 knots at 30,000 feet and a maximum range of 2,535 nm with IFR reserves.
Comp Air continues to fly the Comp Air 12 proof-of-concept prototype while the company works with “potential investor groups and experienced engineering and production resource teams to execute the 36-month certification and production startup.” The large single-engine turboprop, powered by a 1,650-shp Honeywell TPE331-14GR, has undergone systems and handling characteristics tests and performance validations, according to Comp Air CEO Ron Luec
Comp Air is firming up plans to certify the single-engine turboprop Model 12, having agreed to work with Downing Aviation Associates “to secure funding, engineering and operational resources” to bring the airplane to market.
Meanwhile, just steps away from the Cirrus display, Ron Lueck, president of Comp Air, proudly showed off his latest creation, the prototype Comp Air 12 single-engine turboprop. The flight to Lakeland was the airplane’s second and was limited to 150 knots because Lueck didn’t want to raise the landing gear due to a problem with the gear indicator lights. Comp Air will need about $150 million and three years to certify the Comp Air 12, he said.