The Ae270 aircraft set for revival
August 17, 2016
Aircraft Integrated Solutions (AIS) has announced plans to revive the development of the Ae270. Murdo Morrison’s news article published at the FlightGlobal website on 9 August 2016 states: “A UK engineering company is resurrecting the Ae270 single-engine turboprop, almost a decade after the programme was axed by its joint developers, Aero Vodochody of the Czech Republic and Taiwan’s Aerospace Industrial Development (AIDC).”
The decision to restart the Ae270 development programme follows a series of corporate transitions that culminated in the acquisition of the Ae270’s intellectual property rights by the Lebanon-based investment company COPS. The sale and purchase transaction that was completed at an undisclosed amount also included the prerequisite operational certificates for Europe and the United States. The COPS franchise owns AIS, a start-up aircraft engineering company that operates from Manchester Airport.
The Ae270 was initially designed in Czech by Aero Vodochody, with the backing of the AIDC, as part of the company’s civil aviation programmes. This partnership had initially been fruitful, as the two companies successfully built several aircraft that were powered by the Pratt & Whitney PT6A engine, according to Morrison’s news article. Unfortunately, the two companies decided in 2007 to abandon the Ae270 along with other civil programmes as a result of strategic realignments and ballooning debts. In fact, Aero Vodochody’s indebtedness led to the 2007 decision by its owner, Penta, to subsequently terminate the civil programmes in favour of focussing on it core business of aero structures and military training equipment.
During the announcement, the top management of AIS revealed that it is in the process of preparing a viable strategy for approaching the manufacturing of the Ae270. However, the company remained non-committal about the exact strategy that it would be redeploying in the revival of the Ae270 aircraft programme. Morrison quotes Alan Provda, the managing director of AIS, as acknowledging that the company “is not ready to disclose our strategy yet.”