Quest Delivers First Kodiak

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Itís not every day a new aircraft design is delivered to a paying customer and the folks at Quest Aircraft in Sandpoint, Idaho, were celebrating that milestone last week. The company handed over the first revenue-generating aircraft to Spirit Air in a ceremony that involved the whole plant. Spirit Air was the first to lay down a deposit for the Kodiak in 2005, and taking delivery within three years is remarkable for anyone, let alone a somewhat idealistic start-up. Thereís no question Quest is in business to make money off the Kodiak but itís where that profit ends up thatís different. Quest will use the money it makes to subsidize the provision of Kodiaks to missionary organizations working in developing countries. So, itís not surprising that the aircraft is built for unimproved strips with STOL capabilities that allow it to haul bulky cargo in a useful load of 3,325 pounds off the runway in about 700 feet. Spirit will use the PT-6-powered, glass-paneled Kodiak in backcountry operations in Alaska and Idaho and to carry commuters and freight.

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