EV-55 Outback

EV-55 Outback

After more than six years of development, the Evektor EV-55M Outback twin turboprop made its first flight June 24 from the Czech Republic town of Kunovice. The 30-minute test signaled the beginning of a new direction for Evektor, maker of the EuroStar and SportStar

sport planes, into the commercial utility market. The high-wing Outback, which is being marketed to operators in South America, Africa and Asia, was designed for STOL performance on unpaved runways. Unlike most of its competitors in the popular 9- to 14-passenger category, the EV-55’s cabin has a volume of almost 450 cubic feet and a payload of more than 4,000 pounds. It can be configured for passengers or freight as well as both in as little as 20 minutes between versions. Using a pair of ubiquitous 550-shaft-horsepower Pratt & Whitney PT6A-21s for motivation, performance is on par with many of its twin-prop peers. Evektor expectsa takeoff run of 1,380 feet (sea level), a maximum true airspeed of 220 knots at FL100 and a landing rollout of 1,670 feet (sea level). Evektor was the lead company of nearly 20 Czech partners that joined together for the project, which was funded by the country’s industry and trade ministry. In the light sport category, Evektor is one of the largest manufacturers in the world and has delivered more than 1,000 EuroStars and SportStars.   —Mike Harbour

Updated: November 7, 2011 — 10:18 AM

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