Comp Air Jet in Limbo

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There will likely be one less entry in the light jet market as Comp Air has all but abandoned its jet project. "It's not dead," said President Ron Lueck but he said the prototype has languished in Bowling Green, Ky. since last July when Lueck dead sticked it after an engine failure. "We have an engine for it we just have to get up there and get it," said Lueck. But Lueck admits he's lost interest in the project because of some relatively stark realities. He said the aircraft is too big to be flown with the relatively inexpensive new generation of engines made by Williams and Pratt & Whitney Canada for the very light jet market. Larger engines are significantly more expensive and would price the Comp Air jet out of the market. "It's just not a viable product," Lueck said.

He added that fuel prices will continue to rise and efficiency will become a bigger factor in buying decisions. That, he said, will bring a surge in sales of turboprop singles. Lueck claims the Honeywell turboprops in his aircraft are 20 percent more efficient than comparable engines from other manufacturers.