Two New Backcountry Flyers From Expedition Aircraft

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A company in Canada is working on a pair of beefy new single-engine backcountry aircraft that should be certified soon. Expedition Aircraft of Toronto said on Wednesday that both of its multi-mission aircraft, the E350 and the E350XC, have already completed 90 percent of the work required to obtain certification. Both aircraft will be powered by a 315-hp Lycoming IO-580 engine and have a rugged design, with four doors and four seats (fifth seat optional). The E350 has tricycle gear while the E350XC is a taildragger, ready for optional tundra tires or skis. Both aircraft will be available for floatplane conversions. The airplanes will be on display at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh this July, the company said. The E350 prototype flew for the first time last October and has accumulated about 100 hours. Cruise speed so far is showing about 160 knots, while useful load will be in the 1,600-pound range. "Expedition E350 and E350XC customers will enjoy the best of both worlds -- an aircraft with excellent cross-country cruising speeds and incredible performance coupled with enough payload and versatility to take your family almost anywhere," said company spokesman Andrew Hamblin. Transport Canada and FAA certification is expected by the third quarter of this year, with production to commence by year-end, the company said. "We are convinced that this will be the aircraft of choice for both seaplane and backcountry pilots," Hamblin said.