Symphony Tooling Up Production

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Symphony Aircraft, based in Quebec, is gearing up to increase production from the current rate of about one airplane per month to four per month by the end of this year, CEO Paul Costanzo said at a Sun n Fun news conference yesterday. "We're investing in new tooling and processes to increase effieciency," Costanzo said, with the aim of bringing down the cost per unit to keep the price of the two-seat 160 competitive. Costanzo said the company has 17 orders in hand and this week entered into agreement with Spartan College of Aeronautics to supply 160s for their training fleet. The school currently flies 30 152s and 10 172s. Bill Wyman, Spartan's chief flight instructor, said in a news release that the school chose the 160 because of its "superior workmanship, performance, and appearance." Costanzo also said two new factory-installed options now are available for the airplane -- BRS parachutes and PowerFlow exhaust systems. The 160 is available with either a conventional or glass panel. Symphony delivered its first Canadian-built aircraft in May 2005, after taking over the company from its original German owners.