Quest Aircraft Unveils New Bush Plane

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Turboprop And STOL...

Quest Aircraft, of Sandpoint, Idaho, is unveiling its new single-engine, turboprop, 10-place utility aircraft this week. The new airplane, called the Kodiak, will feature Pratt & Whitney's PT6 turbine engine, landing gear designed for unimproved airstrips, 19-inch propeller ground clearance, 29-inch main tires, and short-take-off-and-landing (STOL) performance that beats any aircraft currently in its class, spokeswoman Julie Stone told AVweb yesterday. The company operates with a staff of 40 in a 27,000-square-foot facility built in October 2002. Stone said the first flight of the Kodiak will occur later this month. Tom Hamilton, formerly of Stoddard-Hamilton Aircraft, is Quest's CEO, and Bruce Kennedy, former CEO of Alaska Airlines, is chairman of the board. In a news release, the company said it has "chosen to remain out of the public eye. ... In an industry where aircraft start-ups are watched closely, and often with skepticism, we at Quest have approached both the design and the marketing of the Kodiak with an eye toward delivering a proven product, not hopeful promises."