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Fri, Apr 18, 2003

New 4-Place: OMF Symphony 4

One 'quiet' announcement at Sun 'n Fun was a doozey from OMF Aircraft, which announced a new addition to its line of personal aircraft: the Symphony 4. They say in their release, "This four-seat aircraft has all the sporty good looks, comfort, safety and reliability found in a Symphony 160, and even greater room and useful load to carry four full-size adults wherever they want to go. And it has the affordability the market expects from a Symphony."

Managing partner Derek Stinnes added, "OMF is thrilled to be introducing the second in what we anticipate will be a long line of aircraft. It was only two years ago that our first aircraft, the Symphony 160, received its FAA Type Certificate. We're confident general aviation aficionados will be as excited about this new aircraft as we are."

And, they note, there's every reason to be enthusiastic. The Symphony 4 is a true four-place aircraft. With a useful load of 1190 pounds, it can carry full fuel four adults and their baggage. A 50-gallon fuel tank means this aircraft will have a range of nearly 500 miles.

"It's to be a 'grown' Symphony. We're of course going to certify it," said Symphony's Bill Sprague. "We learned how to certify airplanes with the Symphony 160; that means we'll probably look at a 2-year certification timeline."

Mr Sprague continued, "It will have a Lycoming C-series 540, with 250 horses; it's kind of in the 182 range, with a 145-kt cruise. Range is 485 nm -- with a huge payload; and the doors swing up, rather than back and forth. The back seat is removable -- room even for a stretcher. It's wider than a 206, at the doors. We should be able to sell this at Skyhawk prices."

With the flip-up doors and all that capacity, it'll make a great floatplane, too, he reminded us. [That's C-172 pricing, 206 room, and 182 speed, if you look at the 'right' specs... --ed.]

Pilot and passengers alike will travel in comfort. The Symphony 4 will feature the same patented 26g seats that make flying in the Symphony 160 such a treat; a 46" wide cabin means everyone will have plenty of room -- even if they stand 6'5" tall, as Stinnes does. "I'm the test case for the cabin on the Symphony 4," said Stinnes. "I have to be comfortable sitting in each of the four seats."

First flight in a few months...

Stinnes anticipates that first flight of the Symphony 4 will take place before the end of 2003.

Symphony 4
Preliminary Specifications

Engine    IO-540-C
Horsepower   250 hp
Cruise speed @75%  145 kts
Stall speed (flaps full) 55 kts
Stall speed (flaps up)  65 kts
Range    485 nm
Wing span   40 ft
Gross weight   2870 lbs
Empty weight   1680 lbs
Payload    880 lbs
Useful load   1190 lbs
Fuel quantity   50 gal



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