October 22, 2004, Sandpoint, ID...Quest Aircraft's new KODIAK took its first flight on Saturday, October 16. The aircraft, piloted by Bruce Barrett, took off at 2:15 p.m. from the company's facility at the Sandpoint Municipal Airport.
With inclement weather that was less than hospitable for a maiden flight, the KODIAK taxied out as the chase plane took to the air looking for traffic and surveying the weather. First flight lasted approximately six minutes with Barrett making a lap around the pattern followed by a smooth touchdown. Company officials were hopeful they could take back to the air later in the week, when the weather improves. Yesterday, the KODIAK successfully completed its second fight, lasting 30 minutes.
“Today was a great day for Quest Aircraft,” stated Tom Hamilton, Quest's CEO and President, immediately following the first flight. “What started as a vision years ago is today a reality. I want to congratulate everyone on our team for all their hard work and dedication.”
The KODIAK flew exactly two years to the day since the dedication of Quest's new 27,000 square foot R&D facility. The flight test program has been submitted to the FAA's Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) and Quest is ready to resume flight testing, which will continue through 2005. The company has already broken ground for an additional 57,000 sq ft which will give the company a total facility of 84,000 square feet for KODIAK production.
“We have been very circumspect about the development of the KODIAK,” added Hamilton. “We wanted to focus our efforts on building a quality aircraft that can meet the rigorous demands that utility aircraft can face and not fight to meet expectations and promised deadlines. That's why we have chosen to stay out of the public eye until recently.
“Now that we have accomplished first flight, we look forward to sharing our progress with the media and our potential customers,” continued Hamilton. The company plans to publicly debut the KODIAK at the Alaska Airmen's Trade Show in May 2005.
Quest Aircraft, LLC is the manufacturer of the KODIAK, a 10-place single engine turboprop utility airplane, designed to be float capable. Headquartered in Sandpoint, Idaho, Quest was established in 1998, and currently employs more than 35 skilled personnel.
Media Contact: Julie Stone
Office: (912) 898-8673 ▪ Mobile: (912) 398-0498