May 29, 2009
By Alton K. Marsh
The Dornier Seastar, certified in the United States and Europe in 1991 but never brought to market, is looking for a home. A company official said the search has narrowed to two sites in “North America” without specifying a country. The company estimates that 40 percent of its sales will come from Canada.
A flying prototype was shown at last year’s annual convention of the National Business Aviation Association and is appearing this year at the Canadian Business Aviation Association convention as well as the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wis., with a newly refurbished interior. It will appear again at this year’s NBAA convention.
The $6 million amphibious, composite aircraft can seat 12 or can be configured for a private owner. Two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-135A engines power it with a claimed normal cruise speed of 170 KTAS. It can operate in seas up to 2.5 feet in fresh or salt water.
The company is headquartered in Punta Gorda, Fla., and is chaired by Conrado Dornier, who lives in Germany. The engineering core of the company is located there. The firm has some orders now that will be delivered in 2011, with the first aircraft available to the general public in 2012. The number of orders has not been released.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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The clock is ticking to participate in the FAA’s 36th annual General Aviation Survey.
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