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.
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 assembly 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.