...Product Support A Top Priority
There are currently 41 Symphony 160s flying and Bill Sprague, OMF Aircraft's vice president of sales, says the top priority now is to ensure continued product support for those customers. He also said the six North American distributors will also be allowed to continue taking orders for the 160 and to reserve positions on the 135D diesel-powered version (which would fly with Thielert's Centurion 1.7) and the four-place 250, both of which are under development. There are now 21 orders for 160s and 25 options held for the two new designs. Costanzo said that while the new product lines will be delayed in development by at least six months by the current situation, OMF Aircraft will continue both programs under Canadian certification. He said it's a big challenge for a start-up company to switch gears so quickly but there is demonstrated demand for all three lines of aircraft. "We believe the 135D and 250 are critical to the future of OMF Aircraft," Castanzo said. A bright spot in the problems is that there is a large pool of skilled aerospace workers in the immediate area of the OMF plant. It's located in Trois Rivieres, near Montreal, which is a major aerospace manufacturing center in Canada.