Symphony Aircraft Future Getting Closer

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The future of the Symphony aircraft line, which has been in limbo since OMF GmbH, the German parent company, declared bankruptcy in December, should be decided in the next week or two, it was announced at Sun 'n Fun on Wednesday. "One way or another, the line is going to be re-launched by somebody, shortly," said Paul Costanzo, the former president of OMF Aircraft, which had just opened a factory in Quebec last September. The North American assets of OMF Aircraft are now up for bid, and Costanzo has formed a group called Symphony Aircraft Industries to try to buy the company and re-open at its former site. Forty-four orders are on the books, Costanzo said. Tuesday was the deadline for bids, and SAI and four other companies were invited to submit offers. The creditors are anxious to see the company back in business and its work force re-employed, he said, so he expects action fairly quickly. The German company, OMF GmbH, already has been sold off to a German components manufacturer, SMW, which is new to aviation, Costanzo said. He added that SMW is focusing on moving forward with the 135D model, a diesel two-seater, which should have JAA certification by September. The company also produces the Symphony 160 two-seater, and has completed the preliminary design of a four-seat version, with an expected North American certification date of 2006. If his group's bid is successful, Costanzo said, they would independently build the Symphony line for the North American market, under a complex set of agreements with SMW, but the two companies would be separate entities. He also said that while the company is for sale, he and his team have continued to answer the phones and provide customer support.