Company Expects Four Months To VFR Cert; IFR To
The first FAA certification-spec Seawind 300C took to the skies
last month from Quebec's Saint Jean Airport -- an occasion the
company expects will mark the beginning of the end to its lengthy
path towards FAA certification.
The Seawind 300C took off August 31 from Saint Jean Airport at
Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada, on the first flight over
what the company says will be a four-month testing phase to receive
VFR certification of its four-place, single-engine amphibian.
Once VFR cert is accomplished, Seawind says it will be followed
by IFR, autopilot, FADEC, and glass cockpit
Company president Richard Silva originally anticipated
certification for the 300C -- which traces its roots back to the
kitbuilt Seawind 3000 aircraft available since 1992 -- three years
Unforeseen delays -- combined with the rigors of FAA testing --
pushed that schedule back, though; back in April, the company
had expected the test aircraft to start flying by the end of that
However, through all the setbacks, Seawind has endured -- and,
has managed to retain its customers. In April, Seawind reported out
of 64 customers who have ante'd up deposits for 300Cs, only two had
asked for their deposits back through the ordeal.
And with the company's hope of FAA certification now in sight --
and flying -- Silva says he is already looking to the next phase of
the Seawind's evolution.
“We are continuing to look at other innovations such as
the turbo-charged diesel engine, de-icing, and air conditioning,"
Silva said. "We will continue our policy of making any new
developments available to retrofit earlier aircraft. We do not want
any Seawind to become obsolete.”