Comp Air, the manufacturer known for its sturdy back-country-capable, turbine-powered kit aircraft, has announced that it has been granted $ 150 million to develop, certify and produce the 310-knot, eight-plus-two, near-standup cabin (with lavatory) Comp Air 12 composite pressurized turboprop single. With this cash infusion from MercMed investment company, Comp Air has set target dates for flight testing and certification as July of 2009 and year-end 2010, respectively, and plans to build the aircraft at a new facility in Melbourne, Fla. According to Comp Air CEO Ron Leuck, the production aircraft will be born of the currently flying prototype, which has accumulated 200 hours in the air and will be stretched by 42 inches and gain four more in girth (here, fuselage diameter). The tail will be changed from its current cruciform configuration to a conventional design and the main door may also be enlarged, according to Leuck.
Comp Air is now accepting $ 100,000 deposits on the $ 2.95 million Honeywell TPE331-14GR-powered airplane, and hopes the aircraft´s 5,000-pound useful load, 900-foot takeoff roll and 2,500-nm range will appeal to air taxi and corporate interests, among others.