Italian general aviation company Vulcanair is gearing up to deliver the first A-Viator twin-engine turboprop to an unnamed customer early in the second quarter. The Casoria, Naples-based airframer plans to deliver three aircraft this year - the remaining two A-Viators will be handed over to Vulcanair´s Australian distributor which has sold the aircraft to mining companies for personnel transport - and 10 aircraft a year thereafter. The 1.4 million Euro ($ 1.9 million) 330hp (245kW) Rolls-Royce 250 B17C-powered A-Viator is an upgraded version of the AP68-TP600 Viator originally manufactured by Partenavia, the assets of which Vulcanair bought in 1998. The aircraft is equipped with a glass cockpit and is designed to plug a "substantial gap in the market for twin engine aircraft which offer simplicity, economy and safety", according to Vulcanair director Remo de Feo. The A-Viator is the "missing link" between light piston aircraft and larger pressurised turbine and very light jets and is targeted at the corporate, owner flyer and aerial work markets.
The Casoria, Naples-based firm is continuing to evaluate the market for a shorter version of the A-Viator powered by a Thielert Aircraft Engines 350hp V8 Centurion 4.0 powerplant. "We will see how the industry develops over the coming months and assess whether there is a strong enough demand for this product," says de Feo.
Vulcanair is, meanwhile, set to begin deliveries at the end of the first quarter of its new Vr piston twin, a lighter version of the P68 with retractable landing gear. This will be preceded by a demonstration tour of the 200hp Textron Lycoming IO360-powered aircraft of training schools and owner-flyers across Europe and Asia, says de Feo.