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Garmin G3000 Selected For Kestrel

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Kestrel Aircraft has chosen Garmin as its launch vendor for avionics on its new turboprop single. The G3000 suite, the same system used in the Phenom 300, was picked but Kestrel CEO Alan Klapmeier said there will be future options for customers. "Competition is good," he told a news conference at AirVenture 2013. Klapmeier also announced that funding delays have pushed back the development schedule. Klapmeier says he's still hopeful a conforming prototype can be ready to display at next year's AirVenture. Klapmeier said he had hoped to announce the program was fully funded at this year's show but deals fell through in the weeks ahead of the event. He said all businesses face this issue and it can be as frustrating as it is puzzling. Meanwhile, the company has grown to more than 110 employees, most of them engineers, and progress continues to be made on the myriad tasks that must be completed in designing and building an airplane.

He said final design work of many components is complete and the FAA has commented favorably on the quality of the work and the process in general. Klapmeier estimates the cost of certification at about $175 million, of which about $50 million has been spent. He said that about a year after the next round of funding is complete the conforming prototype will be finished. He said the next round of funding will be private placement investments from a number of parties and he does not want anyone to hold 51 percent or more of the company. He said he wants the investors to understand aviation and be prepared to debate issues as they arise. Klapmeier said the earliest the first aircraft could be delivered to a customer is the end of 2015 but that will more likely occur in 2016.

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