Redbird's Intensely Cool and Innovative Approach To Seeking A Transformational GA Trainer
Our friends at Redbird tel us that, "Typical training aircraft come in one of two flavors: 40-year-old machines with tired interiors and outdated avionics or new glass-panel machines that cost more than most flight schools or owners can afford."
With that assumption, Redbird is prepared to introduce a new concept as they have create a consortium of companies using Redbird’s Skyport laboratory to test something "really new" -- the third option: The RedHawk Training Aircraft.
The RedHawk is remanufactured from the bare metal of a Cessna 172, with each partner company bringing a unique component to the whole.
•Continental‘s fully certified Centurion turbo-diesel engine burning 4.5 gallons per hour of Jet-A
•Aspen Avionics’ Evolution 2000 PFD/MFD (glass panel), with full PFD backup
•Bendix/King’s next-generation avionics stack, currently awaiting final certification
•Brown Aviation Lease’s options for consumption-based pricing, with insurance provided by Starr Companies and Aviation Insurance Resources
•RedHawk’s own interior and exterior upgrade to maximize longevity and usefulness on the flight line.
The seemingly most unusual component for a training aircraft is the Continental Centurion turbo-diesel. But Jerry Gregoire, Chairman of Redbird and RedHawk Aero, points out that there are nearly 1500 of these engines flying today, so this is known technology. “When you consider this is an existing STC for the Cessna 172, and factor in Continental’s announced plans for pushing development and support of this motor, it looks like the best bet for a Jet-A burning trainer,” he said.
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