Past Year Has Seen Steady Progress Toward Certification
July 24, Oshkosh, WI...One year after the KODIAK's first appearance at EAA's AirVenture, Quest Aircraft is pleased to recap the progress the company made during the past 12 months.
“We're excited to be back at Oshkosh with the KODIAK and showcase its unique capabilities to our customers and potential customers” said Quest Chief Executive Officer Paul Schaller. “We've more than doubled the flight hours on the aircraft since last year and have made significant progress towards certification and customer deliveries.”
The flight test team successfully completed numerous critical tests as the KODIAK logged more than 450 hours these past months. Significant milestones include:
• Installation of the Garmin G1000 avionics suite in December 2005. Not only was this the first G1000 installation in a turbine aircraft, but the KODIAK's system includes several new enhancements which increase its capabilities. The three-panel display is equipped with dual audio panels and integrated extremely well with the other components during testing.
• In April, the cargo pod was installed and flight test evaluation is well underway. Preliminary reports show minimal effect on the aircraft's cruise speed and handling, with the additional gains in cargo space and accessibility being substantial.
Static testing has progressed concurrently with flight test. In June, the main fuselage underwent its final battery of tests and the results were right on target. Several major tests have been completed on the wing as well, with excellent results. The successful rigorous testing underscores the KODIAK's capabilities in performing in the harsh environments in which many customers will operate.
One of the most exciting milestones was the cutting of the first metal for s/n 001, the first production aircraft, last fall. The airplane is now well on its way down the assembly line and will be rolling of the line later this summer. This aircraft will be used for flutter and systems testing, followed by Function and Reliability (F & R) testing. The company is also in the final stages of ramping up for full assembly operations in preparation for production start-up following certification.
“We have made good progress on all aspects of certification, including flight test, structural and systems tests, and the entire conformance and documentation process,” Schaller summarized. “We are targeting the fall for Type Certificate (TC) and will have the first deliveries of certified KODIAKS this year.”
Quest has seen strong market acceptance in key market segments, including personal use, Part 135 operations, government, and humanitarian organizations.
“Customer orders have exceeded our expectations and we are currently taking orders for delivery in the Spring of 2009,” added Schaller. “We are ramping up production in conjunction with finishing the final stages of our certification and will be working hard to bring down our backlog.”
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 2001, and currently employs more than 75 skilled personnel.
Media Contact: Julie Stone
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