December 21st, 2006, Sandpoint, ID...2006 was a year of accomplishment for Quest as the KODIAK moves toward final FAA certification. Most significant was the receipt of our Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) certificate in late September, which set the stage for final flight testing. The TIA was granted by the FAA following the conclusion of a rigorous company flight testing program which included more than 500 hours on N490KQ, the KODIAK prototype.
In mid-December the first phase of TIA flight testing, verifying the KODIAK's aerodynamic conformity, was successfully completed. To-date, the flight test article has accumulated almost 600 total hours of flight test work, and structural testing has been completed on the fuselage, wing and all aerodynamic components. Final testing is now underway for avionics, electrical, interior and environmental systems. With continued good flying weather, and the ongoing support and encouragement of the FAA and critical suppliers, Type Certification (TC) of the KODIAK is expected by the end of first quarter 2007.
Concurrently, production on s/n 001 has progressed and the aircraft is now on its landing gear and nearing final assembly. This aircraft will be used for flutter and systems testing, followed by Function and Reliability (F & R) testing. Construction of s/n 002 has also begun and the ramp-up for full assembly operations has accelerated in preparation for production start-up following certification.
Earlier this year, the KODIAK made its second appearance at EAA's AirVenture, and again was very well-received. Several new features were debuted, including the base interior and the optional Cargo Pod. The Cargo Pod allows the aircraft to carry an additional 60 cubic feet of cargo, baggage, or other equipment, and is expected to be a popular option for many customers.
AirVenture was also the public-debut of the KODIAK equipped with the Garmin G1000 integrated avionics suite. The three-panel high-resolution display incorporates all flight-critical data and presents it to the pilot digitally. This is the first installation in a turboprop aircraft of the popular G1000, which will be standard equipment for the KODIAK.
2006 also saw continued market acceptance in key segments, including personal use, Part 135 operations, government, andhumanitarian/mission organizations. Customer orders have exceeded expectations and the company has a 3-year backlog with deliveries scheduled well into 2010. To meet the increased demand, Quest's Sandpoint production facility is evolving as well, with more than 100 skilled employees now on staff. On the shop floor a new paint booth and a chemfilm treatment center have been installed, both greatly enhancing in-house
capabilities. Established in 2001, Quest Aircraft, LLC is the manufacturer of the KODIAK, a 10-place single engine turboprop utility airplane, designed to be float capable.
Media Contact: Julie Stone
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