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Fri, Jul 23, 2010

Kestrel Turboprop Program Back On Track... With Alan Klapmeier As CEO!

350 Knot Kestrel To Be Built In Maine

It's nice to finally be able to report two major pieces of news we've been working on, on background,for sometime now... a new life for the highly respected Kestrel Turboprop program... and the return of Alan Klapmeier to the leadership of an innovative general aviation design and manufacturing program.

Both Maine Governor John E. Baldacci and Kestrel Aircraft Company (KAC) have confirmed to ANN, the selection of Brunswick Landing, at the soon to be decommissioned Naval Air Station Brunswick (NASB), as their home to develop, certify and manufacture their class-defining, state-of-the-art, composite turboprop aircraft, the Kestrel.

The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRA) and the Kestrel Aircraft Company have entered into a lease option for Hanger # 6, a 170,000 square foot, state of the art aviation maintenance facility that was constructed in 2004. The Kestrel venture at Brunswick Landing will involve an investment of over $100 million and is expected to create over 300 high paying jobs once the company is in full production. Kestrel development, certification, and initial production are scheduled to begin this fall.

Governor John E. Baldacci commented, "The decision of Kestrel Aircraft Company to locate their base of operations at Brunswick Landing is a testament to the diversely talented and sophisticated workforce here in Maine. The international appeal and worldwide demand we foresee for the Kestrel airplane will benefit jobs throughout the state, boost Maine's economic competitiveness, and showcase Maine's world class innovation economy".

Kestrel Aircraft is a new company formed to complete the FAA certification and produce the Kestrel. The company will be led by CEO and Chairman Alan Klapmeier and other seasoned professionals with broad aviation and business experience.

Mr. Klapmeier has a rich and distinguished background in aviation. In 1984, he founded Cirrus Design and until recently, led the company which manufactured the largest selling piston aircraft in the world. He resigned from the company in 2009 to pursue other aircraft development ventures.

Brunswick Landing was selected over several locations in other states due to its excellent turn-key facilities, the skills of the regional workforce, the capacity and craftsmanship of the composites industry in Maine, and the willingness of MRRA, state agencies, and others to foster the growth of this company in Maine.

Steve Levesque, MRRA's executive director, said, "It's because of companies like Kestrel Aircraft and its forward-thinking directors that we call Brunswick Landing, Maine's Center for Innovation. The composite skills that KAC will bring to the region will complement the world class capacities of Maine's composite technology cluster represented by the members of the Maine Composite Alliance."

The Kestrel development team notes that the program represents the application of advanced materials, advanced aerodynamic theory and cutting-edge construction techniques to produce a striking aircraft that redefines its class, yet is safe and easy to operate. The Kestrel breaks new ground in aircraft performance, delivering a maximum cruise speed higher than competing models, an impressively short climb time to cruise altitude at maximum weight, and the option to fly further, faster, while carrying more. No other single-engine turboprop comes close in performance and versatility.

KAC believes the Kestrel also sets new standards in cabin dimensions and comfort for a six / seven seat aircraft. A range of cabin configurations is available, all with a spacious, pressurized luggage bay.

ANN and Aero-TV will be presenting a number of Kestrel-oriented interviews and stories this week from the grounds of the 2010 Oshkosh EAA Fly-In...

FMI: Aero-TV: The Farnborough Kestrel – All Carbon-Fibre Business Aircraft


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