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Expedition Aircraft Announces Certification Plans

E350, E350XC Derived From Bush Hawk XP

There's a new aircraft company in town... and they intend to offer two new certified aircraft VERY soon. Expedition Aircraft told ANN Wednesday that it is in the final stages of certification for two multi-mission piston aircraft, the E350 and the E350XC. Expedition is a subsidiary of Canadian planemaker Found Aircraft, which manufactures the well-regarded Bush Hawk XP.

Expedition Aircraft's Director of Marketing and Sales, Andrew Hamblin, tells ANN both new aircraft will utilize the same rugged, four door, four seat (with optional fifth) design, derived from the Bush Hawk XP. The planes are slightly larger than the Bush Hawk, offering a six-inch-wider cabin, and will be equipped with the 315-hp Lycoming IO-580 engine.

In a departure from the Bush Hawk (shown below), the E350 will be equipped with "very rugged" tricycle gear, to broaden its appeal to pilots both in and out of the Alaskan wilderness. The E350XC will utilize a conventional tailwheel configuration, allowing it to be equipped with both tundra tires and skis for backcountry flying.

To add to its versatility, both aircraft will also be available for floatplane conversions, utilizing either the Aerocet 3400/3500 or Wipline 3450 floats.

The E350 prototype aircraft celebrated its first flight on October 3, 2006, and the company states it exceeded expectations during its 100+ hours in the air to date. The initial performance of the aircraft includes a cruise speed of 160 KTAS combined with docile stall characteristics of 53 KCAS at a gross weight of 3800 lbs.

"Unlike similar aircraft, the Expedition’s design is strong enough to accommodate floatplane operations without additional structural reinforcements," said Hamblin. "With 315 horsepower, the E350 and E350XC will be very impressive performers. We are convinced that this will be the aircraft of choice for both seaplane and backcountry pilots."

Useful load in the spacious 50" wide cabin will be in the 1600 lbs. range. Even with its 100 gallon fuel tanks full, payload will be an impressive 1000 lbs. At gross weight, take-off performance is 1300 feet over a 50 foot obstacle with a rate of climb of 1300 feet per minute at sea level.

"Expedition E350 and E350XC customers will enjoy the best of both worlds -- an aircraft with excellent cross-country cruising speeds and incredible performance coupled with enough payload and versatility to take your family almost anywhere" said Hamblin. "Until now, pilots have had to settle for shrinking payloads in order to get performance. Expedition Aircraft will deliver best-in-class value, payload and performance to our customers."

Expedition Aircraft will be launching both the E350 and E350XC at AirVenture 2007 in Oshkosh, WI from July 23–29, 2007. Transport Canada and FAA Certification is expected by Q3 of 2007, with production to commence by Q4 of this year.

The company says these fast timelines are possible, as Expedition has already completed 90% of the required certification work for the aircraft. The company also currently holds a valid Transport Canada-approved production certificate.

FMI: www.expeditionaircraft (to be operational by the end of this week), www.foundair.com


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