Aerocomp's New Turbine

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In the chicken-and-egg world of aircraft design, it's not often a turboprop is copied from a pure jet. But that's exactly what the fertile minds at Aerocomp have come up with for their next homebuilt. The Comp Air 12 uses the same fuselage, wing and empennage as the Comp Air Jet, currently undergoing initial flight tests. But instead of a jet engine in the back, the new plane as a 1,400-horsepower Lycoming turbine up front. The $449,000 kit (including engine but minus avionics) will have its first flight by summer and should be available early next year. The jet kit should also be available about the same time. The turboprop version is expected to cruise at 275 knots over a range of 2,800 nm. Cabin configurations will vary but the first airplane will have seating for eight (nine if you include the enclosed lavatory). "The Comp Air 12 is a natural extension of our full line of turbine aircraft, which have been growing in size and passenger-carrying capabilities over the past several years," said a company release.