Progress Continues Toward FAA Certification as First Production KODIAK Completes Initial Flight
March 20, 2007, Sandpoint, ID…Quest Aircraft announced today the successful first flight of s/n 001, the first fully conforming production aircraft. N491KQ took to the skies on Friday, March 16 at 3:00 p.m. from Quest's facility at the Sandpoint Municipal Airport. The aircraft flew for approximately 45 minutes and performed as planned, meeting all specifications. N491KQ joins the KODIAK prototype in the FAA certification testing program.
“This is an extremely exciting day for us,” said Paul Schaller, Quest Aircraft's President and CEO. “Thanks to the tireless work of the Quest team, as well as the FAA, we have taken the final step toward receiving Type Certification (TC) for the KODIAK."
After production flight testing, N491KQ will immediately be placed in service for function and reliability (F & R) flight testing. This aircraft also incorporates several systems and extended options that will be installed on production aircraft. These changes from the prototype include an Environmental Control System (ECS), oxygen for all seats, and a new split cargo door with integrated steps. Several new interior options will also be introduced for production flight testing.
“The KODIAK prototype successfully completed the flight testing phases that verified the aircraft's aerodynamic conformity and performance, as well as testing several key systems,” said Schaller. “With our second aircraft now flying, we're entering the final flight testing phase of the KODIAK and its systems under a variety of rigorous conditions.”
As flight testing of the KODIAK continues to advance, production and assembly work have accelerated as well. Serial number 002, the first aircraft to be delivered to a customer, is currently on the production line and expected to roll off in late spring.
Quest has seen strong market acceptance in key market segments, including personal use, Part 135 operations, government, and humanitarian organizations. Customer orders have exceeded expectations and the company has a 3-year backlog, which it plans to bring down once TC is received and production ramps up.
The KODIAK's rugged aluminum construction combines superior STOL performance and high useful load. It offers proven turbine reliability with the Pratt & Whitney PT6 turbine engine, is capable of operating off floats without structural upgrades, and has the ability to land on unimproved surfaces. The KODIAK can take off in under 700 feet at full gross takeoff weight of 6,750 lbs with a useful load of 3,450 lbs and climb at over 1,700 feet per minute. The Garmin G1000 integrated avionics suite is standard equipment on the KODIAK. This is the first installation in a turboprop aircraft of the popular G1000.
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 100 skilled personnel. First flight of the KODIAK took place on October 16, 2004. FAA certification is anticipated during 2Q 2007, with customer deliveries beginning shortly thereafter.
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