Extra Expands U.S. Market Efforts
Extra Aircraft, based in Germany, is expanding its efforts to market the Extra 500 turboprop in North America and expects to select a site for a new assembly plant in the U.S. later this year, company spokesman Errol Bader told AVweb this week. "When we first introduced the airplane several years ago, we decided not to market it in the U.S.," he said, due to various reasons such as the exchange rate and regulatory barriers. But now the company has decided the time is right, and they are offering the airplane with a Rolls Royce engine and Avidyne's new Entegra II Release 9 avionics, for $1.65 million. "If you order one now, you can take delivery in the first quarter of 2011," Bader said. Plans are to continue to construct the aircraft's composite parts in Germany, Bader said, but the engines and avionics and other components will be installed at the U.S. site.
The six-seat Extra 500 has a pressurized cabin and is equipped for flight into known icing. An earlier version of the aircraft was EASA certified, and a new certification is pending to accommodate the avionics upgrade, Bader said. He hopes to have an FAA type certificate in hand by the end of this year. The aircraft burns 19 gallons per hour and has a range of 1,600 miles, the company says. Three Extra Aircraft sales centers have been chosen in the U.S.: Mid Island Air Service on Long Island, N.Y.; Premier Aircraft Sales in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and USAero in Denver, Colo. The airplane starts a U.S. tour this week with a stop in Dayton, Ohio, and will include a stop at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh next month. Click here for the full schedule.