GA News
October 10, 2008

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Comp Air finds funding for big turboprop
Comp Air, an increasingly prominent company based at Merritt Island, Florida, announced at the NBAA convention that it has been granted $150 million from the MercMed investment company to develop, certify and start production of its Comp Air 12 composite, pressurized turboprop single.

The company has started taking refundable, $100,000 deposits on the $2.95 million, Honeywell TPE331-14GR-powered airplane. Comp Air has deposits in hand for about two dozen airplanes, said CEO Ron Lueck.

MercMed is a California-based investment company headed by Dr. Philip J. Fagan, the former chairman of Mercury Air Group.

With new capital in hand, Lueck said that a new manufacturing facility will be built at Melbourne, Fla. He plans to make the move to Melbourne by January 1.

Comp Air has been flying the prototype for about a year, accumulating some 200 hours of flight time so far. Lueck said that the production model will have significant changes, including a 42-inch fuselage stretch and four inches more diameter. The cruciform tail also will be changed to a conventional design, and the main door might also be enlarged, he said.

Comp Air plans to start flying the modified Model 12 by next July, with FAA certification by the end of 2010, Lueck said.



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