New Ownership Coming Soon... In One of Two Ways
On behalf of Symphony Aircraft, investor Lou Simons presented
the AirVenture crowd with a look into the not-so-distant future
during its opening day press conference at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
Simons is currently the largest investor in Symphony... which has
had financial trouble in the
past, and is under liquidation proceedings in
Simons (above) told attendees once liquidation is complete, new
ownership is expected to take the reins, and reorganize with an eye
towards the future. Simons is one of two parties hoping to gain
control of the company's assets when the liquidation is
It is hoped that the matter will be resolved by September of
this year... when the former company will cease to exist, and a
brand new company will continue the Symphony brand.
According to Simons, the original company ran into trouble when
the value of the Euro and Canadian Dollar both rose unexpectedly.
The company could not absorb the increase in construction and labor
costs, since the aircraft is built in Canada.
Furthermore, Simons adds, when Symphony initially bought the
design, it discovered missing tooling and other manufacturing
necessities when it uncrated everything upon arrival in Canada.
This caused delays in production and dissuaded investors and
Most recently, there was an unexpected delay in FAA
certification of a glass-cockpit variation.
Simons says he became interested in keeping the Symphony alive
after he bought one, leased it to a flight school, and liked it so
much he didn't want the type to disappear.
If Simons gains control of Symphony's assets, he anticipates
moving production across the border to the United States, for a
move favorable business climate. Numerous locations are being
considered, but at this time no agreements have been reached.
If everything goes as planned, Simons is confident production
will resume in the second half of 2008, although there are several
partially-built airframes that could be available sooner.
He plans to market primarily to flight schools initially, then
to private owners. Future improvements include a ballistic recovery
parachute, floats, increased fuel, powerplant options including a
200HP with constant speed prop, and possibly a Thielert diesel.
When asked if the new company will be held accountable for
previous orders and deposits, Simons replied, "A lot of people got
hurt, including myself. Unfortunately, due to the liquidation, all
liabilities of the old company will not be the responsibility of
the new company, whoever it is."
Will a new Symphony be able to overcome past hurdles AND compete
with the plethora of available LSA -- which are similar in
configuration, mission and performance? Only time will tell.