Spirit Turboprop EASA Certified

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The Ae 270 "Spirit" single-engine turboprop, in development in the Czech Republic for close to 10 years, last week won its EASA certification. FAA certification is expected to follow shortly ... but it will likely be another two to three years before the aircraft is ready for the market. Ibis Aerospace, with partners Aero Vodochody and AIDC of Taiwan, said it plans to continue work on the aircraft to further improve its performance characteristics. The 270 is aiming for a cruise near 270 knots at 30,000 feet with up to 10 aboard for more than 1300 nm. "This redesign effort will be greatly aided by the recent certification of the existing aircraft," the company said. Those changes will focus on changes to the wing and empennage, Wayne Plucker, who represents Ibis in North America, told AVweb yesterday. "As we do that, we will likely take the opportunity to make a few systems simplifications," he said. "Starting redesign depends on when we can obtain additional funding. Our current expectation is next summer, but we can't guarantee it at this point," he added. The Ae 270 is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A engine with a four-blade Hartzell prop. A double cabin door opens to four feet wide to allow for easy loading of both passengers and cargo. The FAA has been involved with the Czech CAA's efforts on the Ae 270, and will likely award FAA Type Certification within a month, the company said. The current price target for the redesigned aircraft in an executive configuration is $2.5 million to $2.7 million, but that is subject to change, Plucker said.