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October 9, 2008

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Comp Air Gets Funding for Large Turboprop Single

Merritt Island, Fla.-based Comp Air this week announced that it received $150 million in funding from MercMed, a California-based investment company headed by former Mercury Air Group chairman Dr. Philip J.

Fagan. Comp Air believes this injection of funding is sufficient to develop, certify and start production of an all-composite, pressurized turboprop single called the Comp Air 12.

Now that the necessary funding has been secured, CEO Ron Lueck said a new manufacturing facility will be built in Melbourne, Fla. and the company has started taking refundable $100,000 customer deposits on the $2.95 million, Honeywell TPE331-14GR-powered airplane.

Comp Air said it has deposits in hand for about two dozen airplanes and plans to make the move to Melbourne by January 1. Comp Air has accumulated approximately 200 hours on the prototype that has been flying since last year.

However, the production model will undergo significant changes, including a 42-inch fuselage stretch and a four-inches-larger fuselage diameter. Additionally, the cruciform tail on the prototype will be dropped in favor of a conventional design, and the main door might also be enlarged.

Comp Air plans to fly the larger Model 12 by next July, with FAA certification following by the end of 2010.



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