Marks Major Milestone Toward Final Certification
October 4, 2006, Sandpoint, ID...The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued Quest Aircraft Company its Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) for the new KODIAK turboprop. The TIA certificate allows the company and the FAA to conduct final inspections for conformity. Following these inspections, the aircraft will be used to conduct Certification Flight Testing, leading toward final FAA certification.
The TIA certificate was granted following the conclusion of a rigorous company flight testing program which has included more than 500 hours to-date on N490KQ, the KODIAK prototype. Testing took place in a variety of challenging field environments and conditions. The last major milestone prior to TIA was spin testing of the aircraft, which the company successfully completed last week. Over 700 different spin entries and recoveries were conducted at various weight and CG parameters.
“The KODIAK has performed flawlessly as we have put it through its paces these last months,” said Paul Schaller, Quest President and CEO. “Receiving TIA for the KODIAK is the culmination of many long hours of work by our entire team, close coordination with the FAA, and the backing of many supporters around the world. We've had an aggressive flight testing program and we're gratified by our progress toward certification.”
Ground testing of the static test article has taken place concurrently with the flight test program. The main fuselage testing was completed in July, with testing on the wing completed a month later. Construction of the first production aircraft, s/n 001, is well underway, and the aircraft should roll off the line by the end of October. 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.
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, 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 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 early 2010,” said 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 was established in 2001 and currently employs 100 skilled personnel.
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