By Alton K. Marsh
Two customer deliveries of the tough backcountry Quest Kodiak single-engine turboprop have taken place in a week following a longer-than-expected effort to bring the FAA-certified aircraft to market. More than 100 are on order.
First requested by missionary groups, the aircraft has caught the eye of charter and cargo carriers that don’t necessarily need to pick their way through trees toward unimproved mountain airstrips.
The first delivery went to Spirit Air, a leasing company in Salmon, Idaho, which is supplying aircraft to Salmon Air, a backcountry airline that it had repurchased. The second will go to Spokane Turbine Center, a facility that will train Moody Aviation students and other missionary groups in the aircraft. Once missionary groups place it in service, it will be seen on charitable and relief flights worldwide.
The Spirit Air aircraft is still at the factory getting its external cargo pod certified. That will allow the aircraft to begin revenue flights in the spring while awaiting certification of the aircraft’s deicing system. Spirit Air will use the first aircraft to test its performance and may purchase a second and third aircraft, with one of them possibly going on lease to a company in Alaska.
The airplane can take off fully loaded in 700 feet. Read the report from AOPA Pilot.
January 31, 2008