FAA Approves New Zealand Training Aircraft

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The Alpha 160A, an adaptation of the French-designed Robin R2160, has been granted FAA certification, and New Zealand-based Alpha Aviation says there’s strong interest in the aerobatic two-seater among flight schools in the U.S. "Our aircraft have already proven to be of considerable interest to United States aero clubs and flying schools,” said Alpha’s managing director, Richard Sealy. “FAA certification will now enable us to actively market and sell our aircraft in this hugely significant market," he said. Alpha bought the rights to the designs from Apex Aviation in France in 2004 and set up a manufacturing plant in Hamilton, NZ. All the plans have been translated from French and the design updated. Although only one model is certified in the U.S., the company makes two others, a basic trainer and a touring version of the 160A.