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Innovator tests completeInnovator tests complete

Kits discounted for first buildersKits discounted for first builders

The Innovator, a kitplane with a blended-wing design, three lifting surfaces, a spacious cockpit 60 inches wide, and lines reminiscent of a manta ray with wheels, can be had at a discount offered to the first builders who travel to the Georgia factory to assemble their own.
Commuter Craft test pilot Ethen Chaffin sits in the wide cockpit of the Innovator designed by Richard Hogan at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in January, the aircraft's public debut. The roadable two-seater design features a pusher prop, a canard, and four lifting surfaces. Photos by Jim Moore.

Commuter Craft, founded by business consultant and amateur airplane builder Richard Hogan in 2006 to create the airplane designed to eventually be made road-worthy with wings folded, announced in July that pre-production flight tests of the first prototype are complete, and production will begin on a series of six “alpha” models in the fall. Another eight customers will build “beta” aircraft thereafter, with full production expected to begin in 2017. Commuter Craft is offering a pre-production special through Sept. 6, with component and builder assist discounts that amount to $8,190, based on price lists provided to AOPA Online.

The Innovator made its public debut in January at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Florida. Hogan and test pilot Ethen Chaffin celebrated the first flight, which had taken place in September 2015, and introduced to the world a concept Hogan has plans to scale up as well as down, with light sport versions envisioned along with larger aircraft that seat six.

Meanwhile, the company is accepting deposits and preparing to welcome customers to the 82,000-square-foot factory where Innovator airframes will be built with factory assistance and tools. The airframe aCommuter Craft introduced the Innovator designed by Richard Hogan at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in January. “Alpha” versions of the roadable two-seater can now be purchased for a factory-assisted build. Photo by Jim Moore.ssembly is expected to take two to three weeks, and a complete project, including installation of the engine and instruments (for which factory assistance is also available) is expected to be doable in as little as three months. The company noted in a press release that the average kitplane is finished in seven years.

A $500 deposit will secure an assembly position and serial number. Adding up the individual prices for the airframe and various options, including factory assistance with the airframe, engine, and instruments, along with dual controls, leather interior, and power folding wings, brings the price to $104,990, discounted to $96,000 for those who make deposits by the end of August. The Titan 340 engine used for pre-production flight tests will add another $32,000; a propeller will add another $2,000; and instruments about $10,000, according to a company spokesperson. All of that brings the total price of a completed Innovator to just under $150,000, depending on options chosen, or just over $140,000 for those early adopters who take advantage of the discount program.

Hogan said in January that part of the Innovator’s mission is to bring new people into aviation, and the striking design has earned it much admiration already.

Innovator kits and engines are sold separately. A Titan 340LT was mounted on the version first flight tested, and displayed at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in January. Jim Moore photo.
Jim Moore

Jim Moore

Editor-Web Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot, as well as a certificated remote pilot, who enjoys competition aerobatics and flying drones.
Topics: Aircraft, Experimental, Flying Car

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