Seawind Saga Update - Revival Close, But "Time Is Our Enemy"
Dick Silva has been working for over 10 years to get the popular Seawind experimental amphibian to the market as a certified aircraft, and this week, he said he has found some new investors and hopes to soon restart operations. Last year, the company's only flying prototype was destroyed in a crash that killed the test pilot. Silva had to shut down and lay off his staff when investors pulled out, but some 68 order-holders asked him not to give up, and he hasn't. This week, Silva said he has raised $1.2 million to restart the company, and if he can find just $800,000 more the staff will return, and two Seawinds now in the works could soon be up and flying to complete the FAA flight-test regimen. However, "there is a limit to how long we can go without resuming the project," Silva said. "Time is our enemy." The company is accepting deposits of $9,000 (to be held in escrow) from new buyers interested in the fast and roomy four-seat amphib. Silva hopes that a growing number of orders would help to attract that final round of investment cash he needs to get the doors open and bring his staff back to work.
Over 80 copies of the experimental Seawind are flying. The cruise speed is about 165 knots. AVweb's Russ Niles interviewed Silva about the company's status in July; click here for the podcast. "I'd hate to see the Seawind not happen," Silva told Niles. "We're going to keep plugging away at it."