Tiger Lands In Valdosta, Ga.

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True Flight Aerospace has confirmed it will build a modern version of the Grumman Tiger in Valdosta, Ga., and hopes to have its first aircraft flying by next summer. CEO Kevin Lancaster said in a podcast interview with AVweb that the company intends to build a 60,000-square-foot plant at the Valdosta Airport. "We're very excited," Lancaster, who purchased the type certificate and most of the assets from the former Tiger Aircraft company earlier this year, said Friday. The Taiwanese government was the majority shareholder of the former owner, and Lancaster said closure of the company, based in Martinsburg, Va., was a political decision. There were firm orders on the books for aircraft but no money to build them. Lancaster said the new incarnation will be run much differently.

Lancaster has been involved in franchising, and he said there are parallels to franchising in resurrecting the Tiger brand. He said franchising involves replicating successful business models, and much of the hard work in starting to build Tigers has already been done. Many of the staff from the Martinsburg plant will be joining the new company, the aircraft is already certified and Lancaster says he's convinced there's demand for the aircraft, which he claims is one of the most efficient piston singles available. Lancaster said he comes by his enthusiasm for the design honestly, having owned two Tigers in the past.

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Click here for a podcast interview with Kevin Lancaster.