Symphony Planning Comeback

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The former lead investor in bankrupt Symphony Aircraft Industries has formed a new company and hopes to resume production of the two-seat aircraft. Lou Simons told AVweb in an exclusive interview that the new company, North American Factory for Technologically Advanced Aircraft (NAFTAA), is aiming at an initial production rate of at least 80 aircraft a year. Location of the factory hasn't been confirmed but the former company's Trois Rivières, Quebec, facility is in the running. Symphony filed for bankruptcy last year. Simons announced at EAA AirVenture last July that he was hopeful the company could be revived. Simons said there are plans for new models and options and the name of the aircraft and company may also be changed. Simons said new Symphonies (or whatever they're called) will have increased fuel capacity, that a diesel option is being considered and that a 200-hp version with a constant speed prop is also in the cards. A four-place model may be offered, but the company will concentrate on the existing, type-certificated 160 model at first. “We’re going after the flight training market first,” Simons told AVweb. “This aircraft is ideal for schools.” He said a less-expensive version will be available for the training sector. Simons said reducing outsourcing and cutting production costs are key to reviving the aircraft.