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Tue, Jul 24, 2007

Seawind Says 300C Amphibian Just a Few Tests From TC

First Five Cleared For Assembly

The Seawind 300C design nears VFR Type Certificate from Transport Canada and the FAA, needing only to complete a few tests in the spin matrix.

Attempted spins, that is... because the test pilot has been unable to get more than an entry into a spiral from the worst case scenario, according to company president Richard Silva

The unique design sports a tail-mounted piston engine, placing the motor's mass near the airplane’s center of gravity to minimize the spinning tendency. Following receipt of a VFR type certificate, Seawind plans to continue its pursuit of IFR, autopilot, and FADEC approval.

Transport Canada granted Seawind permission to produce the first five production-spec aircraft in March. Assembly of number four has begun.

For $336,900, you can wallow in a spacious cabin that can wallow in a lake, but also cruises at 166 knots. The design boasts cabin width of 52" in front and 54" in back. A recent change lowered the floor two inches, to give 41" headroom in the back.

The current design sports the 310 hp Continental IO550-N and McCauley 3-blade propeller.

In a Monday conference at AirVenture 2007, Silva (shown below, right, with Sales Director Dave Arnold) waxed philosophically about the delays.

"Everything is taking longer than planned... we schedule for three months but it takes five." After submitting the final report, "the agency gets sixty days to respond, but it will take ninety." 

For all this, he takes comfort in the dearth of competition in the niche of 4/5 seat amphibians. The demise of Lake Aircraft leaves Seawind alone in the amphibian market niche.

Silva plans a production rate of 200 per year at the end of two years. "We have 90 orders.  We expect more interest when we get the type certificate. Our mailing list has 3000 names."



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