Symphony Hopes For Better Year

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Symphony Aircraft Industries says a host of small problems (lining up suppliers, ensuring parts quality, etc.) and one large one (setting up the shareholders agreement to satisfy investors and take advantage of liberal tax incentives offered by the Canadian government) bogged down production in 2005 and it will only push 13 aircraft out the door of its Trois Rivieres plant by Dec. 31. With the problems all but solved, Symphony CEO Paul Costanzo said they're hoping to build 70 airplanes in 2006 and get full certification for the glass-panel version of the aircraft by late January. Costanzo said the aircraft is popular with individuals and flight schools, who want the glass version for use as a technically advanced aircraft (TAA) trainer. "We're positioned to be the undisputed king of the two-place market," Costanzo said. While they're waiting for the glass cockpit certification, the company is also adding electric trim and all aircraft will be equipped that way after it, too, is certified. With its high wing and lift struts that sweep back behind the doors, the Symphony was also being heralded as an ideal aerial photo platform -- except the windows don't open. Symphony solved that by getting it certified for flight with either or both doors off.