January 2006, Sandpoint, ID … 2005 was a year of accomplishment for the KODIAK. Since making our first flight in October 2004, the flight test and certification program has been underway and the aircraft has performed as expected. The KODIAK made its public debut in May at the Alaska State Aviation Trade Show in Anchorage and then at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. Crowds at both venues were extremely receptive, and it was a great affirmation of the tremendous potential we believe the aircraft holds for modern backcountry aviation.
Aircraft 001, our first prototype, has accumulated some 330 flight hours to date, and feedback from the flight test team continues to be very positive. The aircraft is now being prepared for spin testing. In December, the new Garmin G1000 avionics suite was installed, and the first “all up” flight went just as planned. This is the first installation of the popular G1000 in a turboprop aircraft.
From a manufacturing standpoint, the fuselage and tail of the second airframe were completed in October and they are now undergoing static structural load testing. This work is almost complete and the FAA will be onsite later this month to witness the final tests. Our main landing gear and nose gear have also completed drop testing for the FAA, and first ship sets are manufactured and ready. Next up is installation and testing of the new belly pod, initial float construction by Aerocet, and delivery of a new prop for use on the water.
In October, we dedicated a new 57,000 square foot manufacturing addition to our facility that will house the KODIAK production line. Two of our new Mazak CNC machines are already in place and “making chips”, as they turn out production tooling for the airplane.
Over the last several months, we’ve had the opportunity to take the KODIAK on tour and personally demonstrate the aircraft to customers. We’ve seen strong customer acceptance in our target market segments, and our pleased with the status of customer orders. We’ve experienced growth in our personnel as well, with 60 skilled and dedicated employees now on our team. We will continue to share our progress as we move toward certification later this year.
Source: Quest Aircraft Company
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