October 10, 2008
Comp Air finds funding for big turboprop
Comp Air, an increasingly prominent company based at Merritt
Island, Florida, announced at the NBAA convention that it
has been granted $150 million from the MercMed investment
company to develop, certify and start production of its Comp
Air 12 composite, pressurized turboprop single.
The company has started taking refundable, $100,000 deposits
on the $2.95 million, Honeywell TPE331-14GR-powered
airplane. Comp Air has deposits in hand for about two dozen
airplanes, said CEO Ron Lueck.
MercMed is a California-based investment company headed by
Dr. Philip J. Fagan, the former chairman of Mercury Air
With new capital in hand, Lueck said that a new
manufacturing facility will be built at Melbourne, Fla. He
plans to make the move to Melbourne by January 1.
Comp Air has been flying the prototype for about a year,
accumulating some 200 hours of flight time so far. Lueck
said that the production model will have significant
changes, including a 42-inch fuselage stretch and four
inches more diameter. The cruciform tail also will be
changed to a conventional design, and the main door might
also be enlarged, he said.
Comp Air plans to start flying the modified Model 12 by next
July, with FAA
certification by the end of 2010, Lueck said.