CEO "Confident This Disruption Can Be Overcome"
Aero-News has confirmed
storied German planemaker Grob Aerospace filed for insolvency
Tuesday, citing delays in the development of its all-composite Grob
spn very light jet.
"This unfortunate situation has arisen as a consequence of
recent delays in the spn program, resulting in the increased
requirement for cash to see the program through to certification,"
said CEO Niall Olver. "Under the circumstances, our current loan
provider has elected to discontinue their support."
A perennial exhibitor at industry trade shows for years, Grob
flew the first prototype spn in 2005. Development progressed
rapidly from that point, but
suffered a setback in November 2006 when the
company's second prototype crashed on a test flight, killing
company pilot Gerard Guillaumaud.
Since that time, the company has built two more prototypes, the
latest of which flew for the first time earlier this month.
As Grob continued development of the spn, the company also
attracted attention from larger planemakers.
As ANN reported, in January Bombardier
Aerospace announced Grob had been tasked to develop the
all-composite airframe for its upcoming Learjet 85, and assemble
the first three prototypes.
The planemaker says it will continue with those plans while Grob
works through insolvency proceedings. Bombardier had previously
announced its plans to transfer production work for the Lear 85 to
its own plant in Queretaro, Mexico, with final assembly performed
at the company's plant in Wichita, KS.
Grob first came to prominence in the aerospace community in the
1970s, with its line of popular gliders. In recent years, the
company expanded into the piston single segment, with the G 115
trainer and later variants, including the turboprop-powered G
Niall said Tuesday he expects Grob will survive through the
"Given the significant support we have enjoyed to date, I remain
confident that this disruption can be overcome," he said. "I am
sure that 37 years of pioneering composite aircraft manufacturing
will survive. The company spirit, the support we have received from
employees, suppliers, customers, fellow stakeholders and the media
demonstrates a significant interest in Grob remaining in business
as a civil & military training aircraft manufacturer."