Symphony Will Rise Again, Says Investor

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The so-called angel investor whose money funded the second incarnation of Symphony Aircraft vows the slick two-seater will have a third chance at a market that has become increasingly crowded and less defined than it was when the plane was first produced early in this century. The aircraft was first made in Germany by OMF. It restructured in Canada with American investor Lou Simons providing most of the capital, but it went under again earlier this year. Simons, speaking at a news conference at EAA AirVenture said the combination of a weak American dollar, delays in certifying the Symphony’s glass cockpit model and higher-than-expected start-up costs all led to the second bankruptcy. The third incarnation will be in the U.S., Simons said, and he predicted resuming production in 2008.

Simons said he believes there’s a big market for Part 91 trainers even though both Cessna and Cirrus have put their money on light sport aircraft to be the ab initio trainers of choice starting now. Both companies unveiled LSA aircraft this week and both said their two-seat airplanes will be aimed primarily at the training market. Before he can relaunch the company, Simons has to successfully bid for the assets of the Canadian company, a process that has been slow and frustrating, he said. There is currently at least one other bidder, but Simons predicted he would withdraw. The bankruptcy mess should be cleared up by the end of September, and Simons is hoping the glass cockpit certification will also be in hand by then.

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