...And Planning For The Future

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SAI is actively working to start production of the two-place Symphony 160, dealing with vendors and suppliers, and hiring manufacturing staff, the company said in a news release Tuesday. Development work has begun again on the Symphony 135D, a two-place 135-hp diesel, and the four-place Symphony 250. According to Costanzo, the 135D should be certified in Europe as an STC by the end of this year, with certification in the U.S. and Canada to follow shortly thereafter. Costanzo said he will have more details and more announcements to come during a news conference at AirVenture in Oshkosh later this month, and he will be there ready to sell airplanes. A VFR version of the 160 will sell for $129,600, IFR-equipped for $149,600, Costanzo said Tuesday. The cockpit will have a standard panel, though glass panels may become an option. Further pre-purchase details about the product line, including engines, avionics, and whether or not BRS chutes will be available, will be forthcoming in the fall, Costanzo said. Once the two-place program is underway, the future of the four-place line will be the next order of business. Costanzo said he expects first flight of the Symphony four-seater about this time next year, with type certification in Canada and the U.S. by September 2006.

Costanzo said in April at Sun 'n Fun that OMF had 44 aircraft on order, but declined this week to talk about the numbers. A lot of customers have been patient, he said. Last September, the company had announced that it would offer BRS chutes as a factory-installed option on the Symphony 160 and the diesel Symphony 135-TDI, and as standard equipment on the four-place aircraft, but Costanzo told AVweb yesterday that those decisions for the new line have not yet been made and won't be announced before October. A new Web site is in the works and will come online in stages over the next few months.