After the press conference today at Sun N Fun, Comp Air president Ron Lueck told journalists that a gentleman with a distinct Swiss accent had looked at the Comp Air 12 at the company’s outdoor display and said, simply, You cant do that. It doesn’t take much imagination to assume the man was thinking of the Pilatus PC-12 and the possible confusion with the massive composite from Merritt Island, Florida. Lueck chuckled at the recollection and pointed out that the 12s $1.75 million price will significantly undercut the Pilatus. Comp Air flew the 12 to the show with word that it was developing it for FAA certification, along with a high-wing variant to be called the Comp Air 9. The 12 is powered by a Honeywell TPE331-14 turboshaft engine rated at 1650 shaft horsepower; it is also used in the Jetstream 41. Lueck said that the 12 will not be kitted as is, but instead will be stretched by 5 feet, generally modernized and called the Comp Air 14. The Comp Air 9 will be kitted and called the Comp Air 15. Still with us? In other news, Lueck confirmed that its jet remains in Bowling Green, Kentucky, after an engine failure last year. He said, Its there, and we just don’t have time to go get it. Moreover, he said that the airplane is too large to use one of the new, relatively low cost turbines, which makes any completed kit far too expensive, in his view. Further, the fixed-price version of the Comp Air 4 introduced last year has been put on the back burner while the company works on other projects.
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