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News from Thursday, 8/18/2005

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Problems at HP Aircraft?

TT62 still not airborne.

It was to be one of the most ambitious German aviation projects: HP Aircraft’s TT62. But the problems seem to be more serious than at first supposed. Since its first flight the pressurised cabin twin hasn’t been back in the air. In the meantime the originally targeted price has practically doubled.

The experts agreed: To build a twin-engined plane with a pressurised cabin and two new diesel-V8s that had never before been used in an aircraft and the whole thing driven by engines located at the back of the plane was, in a new construction, a recipe for technical disaster. In addition, the five-seater was going to be fast, economical and cheap.

Now it seems that the critics were right from the start. HP Aircraft in Usedom had wanted too much at once: The first test flight was disappointing and the expected performance data were nowhere nearly achieved. On top of this there were problems with the cooling system, the aerodynamics and the handling. Although the company under the new leadership of CEO Klaus Götsch appeared optimistic at the AERO about getting the problems under control and reassuring aviation enthusiasts and private investors, there are now clear signs of a crisis: The TT62 hasn’t been off the ground since its first 15-minute flight six months ago. The official sales price has risen from the original 450,000 EUR plus VAT to 750,000 EUR plus VAT. Experts expect even this price to rise further and believe a 7-figure number to be more realistic. Commenting on this, TT62 constructor Christian Majunke admitted that a second proof-of-concept prototype was not being built at the moment as the numerous weaknesses which had become apparent in the prototypes had to be analysed and dealt with.

Now it seems that HP Aircraft are paying the price of former promises and boasts that the TT62 would cause no more and no less than a “revolution” in the aviation world. Time alone will tell whether it will be possible to keep to 2007 as the declared start of production and whether the EASA licensing will be complete by that date. As things stand, it is not possible to order the TT62 at the moment. It hasn’t been possible to take out an option at the company’s website for some time now. The latest “News” report was one about the HPA stand at the AERO – not a very good sign.

Original text by kind permission of “Fliegermagazin”.



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