A business consortium led by former Cessna CEO and acting EAA President Jack Pelton has started taking orders for a "remanufactured" Cessna 421 they call the Excalibur and say they have plans to add other designs. The Aviation Alliance, a partnership of 10 individuals and companies that represent a cross section of aviation experience and disciplines, plans to offer "remanufactured, modernized turbine-powered aircraft to the aviation and defense industries." Pelton is the managing director of the ambitious enterprise, which includes Clay Lacy Aviation, Oklahoma Jet Center, Capital Aviation and Aircraft Technical Service/Ventura Aerospace, plus aviation industry executives from a variety of high-profile businesses. "We've assembled a who's-who of aviation leaders and resources on this team to ensure both our mutual success and our customers' satisfaction," said Pelton, who suddenly retired from Cessna a couple of years ago amid a shakeup at the company. "We're optimistic about the business and proud to announce our first offering."
The Excalibur, which is based on the last high-performance twin piston aircraft made by Cessna (starting in 1968), will be powered by PT6A-135A turboprops and have all new cockpit, systems and interior. The Aviation Alliance is projecting 327 knots and a 1420 IFR reserve range for the twin. "The Excalibur will be attractive to existing 421 owners as well as operators considering the purchase of single- or twin-engine cabin-class turboprops, new or pre-owned," Pelton said. "We're going to deliver an airplane that redefines the category." Pelton said there's a prototype in the air and first deliveries are planned for the end of 2013.