TYPE: Twin-turboprop freighter.
PROGRAMME: Design started 1990; patents filed 1991; original capacity for four LD3 containers increased to six in 1997. Two flying prototypes planned; first flight due 18 months after programme financing in place, followed by FAR Pt 25 certification. Mock up completed end 1999 at which time pre-production prototype intended for completion early 2002 and first flight was due before end 2002, with certification in 2003. FAA Pt 25 certification; this was revised following market downturn at end 2001. On 25 June 2002 company signed an MoU with transport provider Averitt Express for an exclusive five year lease of first 25 aircraft, all of which are expected to be in service by end 2004.
By February 2003, projected first flight date had been revised to the first half of 2004.
CURRENT VERSIONS: FF-1080-100: Short fuselage version; four LD3 containers; PW121 engines. Not intended for construction at present.
FF-1080-200: Standard version; as described.
FF-1080-500: Enlarged version; BR 715 engines.
CUSTOMERS: Company estimates market for 5,000 aircraft and aims to capture 10 per cent. Target market is Cessna 208 replacement/growth and F27 all-cargo market. Discussions in hand with several unidentified potential customers; first production batch to comprise 48 aircraft. North Atlantic Industries of Netherlands had planned to take 50 aircraft as European distributor, but agreement was cancelled in 2001. Averitt Express is potential new launch customer.
COSTS: Development and certification to FAR Pt 25 estimated at US$75 million (1998). Standard flyaway version preliminary price US$7.0 million (2002).
DESIGN FEATURES: High-mounted wings, tapered outboard of overwing engine nacelles; box-section fuselage with ventral pannier; upswept rear fuselage with rear-loading door; angular tail surfaces with large dorsal fin fairing. Onboard freight management system.
FLYING CONTROLS: Conventional and manual. Upper surface blowing (USB) via overwing engine mounting.
STRUCTURE: All-aluminium construction. Final assembly by AUC using components provided by management partners under subcontract. Interest in component manufacture shown by companies in USA. Fuselage subassemblies constructed by Metalcraft Technologies Inc of Utah. Wing subassemblies designed by Aerostructures Corporation. Other risk-sharing partners include UPS Aviation Technologies, Goodrich AAR Cargo Systems, Castle Precision Industries, MPC Products, Auxilec Inc, Shaw Aero, HS Dynamic Controls, Securaplane Technologies, Lord Mounts, Hi-Temp Insulation Inc and General Electrodynamics Corp. Detailed engineering undertaken by Aircraft Design Services International.
LANDING GEAR: Non-retractable tricycle type; twin nosewheels and tandem pairs of mainwheels. Engineering undertaken by Castle Precision Industries.
POWER PLANT: FF-1080-200: Two 2,051 kW (2,750 shp) Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127F turboprops, each driving a Hamilton Sundstrand 568F six-blade propeller. FADEC fitted as standard. Fuel capacity 6,853 litres (1,810 US gallons; 1,507 Imp gallons), optional fuel 10,601 litres (2,800 US gallons; 2,332 Imp gallons).
FF-1080-100: PW121 engines each rated at 1,567 kW (2,100 shp).
FF-1080-500: Turboprop version of Rolls-Royce Deutschland BR 715 turbofan, (each 3,424 kW; 4,591 shp).
ACCOMMODATION: Flight crew of two on IPECO seats. Main cargo hold accommodates up to six LD3 containers. Cargo roller floor from AAR Cargo Systems. Large cargo double door on port side, forward of wing; rear-loadind door; crew airstair door on port side of flight deck. Flight deck pressurised; main cargo bay unpressurised. Additional capacity in cargo pannier and nose compartment.
SYSTEMS: Securaplane smoke detection system; HS Dynamic Controls anti-icing and de-icing systems; electrical system integration by Thales Avionics Electrical Systems. Shaw Aero Devices fuel management system.
AVIONICS: Flight and engine displays and autopilot by Meggitt Avionics of UK; GPS by UPS Aviation Technologies.