...Performance And Price

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Well, Volvo has proved that safety can sell, but airplane buyers also look for performance. The XL2 fits an uncommon niche in that it only seats two, an accommodation package usually reserved for trainers. The Liberty folks reasoned that there were plenty of people who fly by themselves or with only one other passenger on most of their flights and might be attracted to a modern, relatively fast (150-mph cruise) airplane that could carry them 500 miles at 27 miles per gallon (just in case the wind stops blowing). By cutting out the back seats, Liberty was also able to keep the price down to $140,000. So far, about 50 have been sold. Fabianac said work will start almost immediately on the order backlog and they should be delivered by the end of this year. The company is hoping to build 220 airplanes in 2005 and 320 the following year. He said the company deliberately located in Melbourne, on the so-called Space Coast of Florida, to be assured of a ready pool of skilled labor as it grows. Certifications are pending for Europe and Asia, and company President Anthony Tiarks is currently in Singapore at a major aviation trade show.