Aviation Week

October 6, 2008

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2008 Sees More New Airplanes Than Ever
Props and Turboprops

Comp Air 9 and 11
High wing or low wing, sir?  These two similar Experimental class kitplanes offer either choice to the homebuilder, although certified versions are intended to follow... but may not.  The $1.7 million CA9 took to the air on July 27, but its planned showing at Oshkosh later that week was cancelled when the FAA said it hadn't flown enough hours for display.  Instead, it's intended to have its public debut at Orlando today.  Next January will see the maiden flight of the CA11, so there will be time enough to reposition the short distance to Sun 'n Fun next April.

Both airplanes are built from composited and have a Honeywell TPE331 turboprop on slightly different versions; 1,000 shp for the CA9 and 1,650 shp for the low wing.  They carry six persons in total and have a generous provision for baggage.  Disposable load (including 400 gallons of fuel) is 3,400 pounds for both, although the CA11 has a slightly greater gross weight.  The big difference is speed, for while the CA9 will cruise at 250kts, the CA11 targets 360 kts, despite needing only 900 ft for take-off and landing (the high wing version requires less).

Comp Air 12
Having sidelined a similar mono-jet after it had flown, Florida-based Comp Air now offers the composite Model 12 as its top-of-the-range, priced at $2,950,000 flyaway (there will be no kit on offer). A prototype flew in April 2007 and-as many aircraft do-picked up a pair of ventral strakes early in the test program. A conforming prototype should have followed in the middle of this year, but Comp Air only received the necessary funding in July. This machine will have a longer, wider fuselage for eight/ten scats; enlarged tail surfaces; and a 1,650shp Honeywell TPE331. Promised performance includes 310kts cruise; 29,000 fl ceiling; and 2,535 nmi range, plus reserves, with 1,300 pounds or six passengers. CA12 targets the Pilatus PC-12 market, although it does not offer a freight door and certification will, most certainly, have slipped from the penciled-in early-2010 date.



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