Kestrel Aircraft hopes to move into its government-spec factory before the end of the year to begin work on certifying the big turboprop single. Company spokesman Adrian Norris told AVweb in a podcast interview at the National Business Aviation Association convention the private-sector funding needed to begin creation of the production version of the aircraft is "falling into place" and will supplement the government incentives being provided by the State of Maine in exchange for job creation. The new factory will be in a state-of-the-art Navy maintenance facility at the decommissioned Brunswick Naval Air Station. Although the company has a proof of concept aircraft, it's safe to say the final article will be substantially different, although no decisions have been made about the final engine or avionics choices.
Something else that has changed substantially is the perception of the project. Just before AirVenture Oshkosh, former Cirrus CEO Alan Klapmeier became CEO of Kestrel Aircraft and the difference has been palpable, said Norris. "People really seem to believe we have an aircraft that fills a gap in the marketplace," he said.