This Czech May Be Carrying the Mail

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If Czech Republic airframer Evektor-Aerotechnik has its way, its newly proposed EV-55 twin turboprop may soon make a dent in the corporate/utility/training markets. Late last month, Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) announced that the EV-55 will be powered by two PT6A-21 engines of 550 shp apiece, giving the to-be-certified twin a cruise speed of 220 knots at 10,000 feet. The PWC announcement -- Evektor-Aerotechnik hasnít formally commented on its plans, although the company has a detailed Web site covering the model -- included reference to completion of the first EV-55 prototype being scheduled for mid-2007, with type certification to FAR Part 23 to follow by the end of 2008. If you've heard of Evektor-Aerotechnik, you're not alone: the company is a leading European manufacturer of Light Sport (in the U.S.), JAR-VLA (in Europe) and so-called "microlight" aircraft.

According to both companies, the EV-55 can be configured for up to 14 passengers or more than 4,000 pounds of cargo while offering excellent STOL capabilities, relatively low operating costs and rough-field capabilities. Presently, the EV-55 is slated to have a maximum gross takeoff weight of 10,140 pounds and weigh 5,617 pounds empty. Performance objectives include standard-day, sea level runway requirements of 1,380 feet for takeoff and 1,310 feet for landing. Looking like the results from crossing a Dornier 28 with an MU-2, the EV-55 will have a cabin volume of 325 cubic feet. For its part, PWC's Stefan Mazareanu, Area Manager, International Business Development, said, "The PT6A-21 is already certified and has proven itself in the field, with a TBO of 3,600 hours. With its excellent reliability and low operating costs, it offers a perfect fit for the EV-55."