Ibis Aerospace Reaches Major Milestones In Ae270 Program
Distributors And Vendors Gather At Ae270 Factory ...
While the lack of news from Ibis Aerospace has been intriguing, the company recently made a series of announcements to bring us up to speed on the latest Ae270 Propjet program developments. On June 23, Ibis gathered the largest assembly to date of vendors, distributors and key personnel. Meetings were held with Ae270 designers and engineers to review technical details of the aircraft and distributors were given demonstration flights in the conforming prototype, serial number five, and a production line tour. An air display, performed by Aero Vodochody's flight test group, was highlighted by a variety of maneuvers above the viewing platform and along the runway.
... As Flight Testing Begins ...
First flight of the conforming prototype Ae270 took place in February of this year. To date, more than 54 flights, logging 54 hours, have been completed on this aircraft. Collectively, three prototype aircraft have logged over 636 hours on more than 611 validation flights. On its second trip to Cordoba, Spain, Ae270 serial number three completed a total of 29 validation flights. A total of 34 flight hours were logged. The aircraft and crew returned March 27, 2003. These tests involved verification of normal and accelerated stalls at various engine settings, as well as spin characteristics.
The Ae270's first visit to Córdoba took place on November 6, 2002, returning on December 11, 2002. The Ae270 performed 65 flights, logging over 90 hours. Locations of the radar pod were tested, as were stall and center-of-gravity characteristics. All flight tests were performed by Aero Vodochody's flight test personnel.
Static testing has been validated on prototype serial number two. The fatigue test article has completed two life cycles, or 40,000 hours. Testing is well into its third life cycle (over 46,000 hours) and will proceed through four life cycles.
... With Production On The Move ...
Parts fabrication is underway for production and spares. Ae270 serial numbers six and seven are having their aircraft systems installed. Serial numbers eight and nine are have moved from assembly and have their empennage installed. Serial numbers 10 and 11 are presently in assembly jigs. Final assembly takes place at the Aero Vodochody factory located in the Czech Republic.
Hundreds of detailed parts for the wing assemblies are being precision machined in Taiwan. These include long wing spars machined from solid aluminum billets. AIDC of Taiwan, R.O.C., is responsible for producing complete wing assemblies for the Ae270. The company will also fabricate the cockpit windshield frame, made from two solid pieces and joined in the middle.
... While Product Support Readies For Certification, First Deliveries
Ibis Aerospace is planning for certification of the Ae270 by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Czech Republic by the end of 2003. FAA certification will follow in the first quarter of 2004. Meanwhile, Ibis Aerospace says it is currently fulfilling application requirements for aircraft certification in Canada, South Africa, Australia, and Europe. Initial aircraft deliveries will occur in the second quarter of 2004.