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Fri, Jan 12, 2007

Columbia Aircraft Takes Wraps Off Its 2007 Models

More Colors, New Options... Including Keyless Entry!

Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation told ANN Thursday its 2007 product line offers bold new paint schemes, new standard features... and one very clever new option for the discerning aircraft owner who will settle for nothing less than the best.

Columbia's planes are already known for their striking paint schemes, in a seemingly endless array of colors and combinations. For 2007, Columbia changed the 350 and 400 schemes, and added a second scheme for the 400.

As Columbia aficionados know, both the company and aircraft derive their names from the powerful Columbia River in the company’s Northwest home. Thus, in keeping with the theme of powerful, fluid dynamics, two of the new paint schemes are named after waterfalls.

New 350 customers will select their choice of colors for the “Vernal” paint scheme while 400 buyers select colors for either the dramatic new “Cascade” theme or the “Traditional” theme that harkens back to the original 400 scheme design.

Those wishing to "paint" a Columbia plane online may try the interactive online Paint Selector at the Columbia website, available at the FMI link below, and clicking on the “Paint Your Passion” icon.

Columbia will also include wing and horizontal stabilizer leading edge protectant at no charge and for 2007 will add the protectant film to the wheel pants and nose gear strut free of charge. Fees for custom paint colors have also been eliminated.

Once inside the cabin -- appointed with two-tone leather and black walnut trim --customers will notice the addition of new standard features including an integral cup holder/approach plate holder, integral headset hanger/flashlight holder and map pocket. The 98th percentile of pilots will also appreciate the new two position rudder pedals, that complement the custom fit seat height adjustment capabilities of the SportSeats by Oregon Aero.

Also new for 2007 is a Remote Keyless Entry System – a clever option and yet another industry first for Columbia. Although the innovative remote system was first seen on the exclusive Columbia 400 LCE (Limited Commemorative Edition) in 2006, popular demand prompted Columbia to offer the feature standard on SL and SLX packages and make it available as an option on other packages.

Once armed, the keyless entry system unlocks the pilot side door and activates interior cabin lighting and exterior step lighting at the press of a key fob button. The system also has an integral timer that will automatically dim the lights to prevent battery drain.

"We’re very excited about the 2007 Columbia line and believe that the new look and our ability to package the most popular features at a fair market price provides the strongest value proposition for anyone shopping for the highest performance, highest quality technologically advanced piston-single on the market, backed by the longest standard factory warranty -- period," stated Randy S. Bolinger, vice president of marketing and business development.

Columbia manufactures a variety of all-composite aircraft including the Columbia 400 -- arguably the world’s fastest certified piston-single. The Columbia 350, 350i, 350SL and 350SLX are normally aspirated, four-place aircraft with a cruise speed of 191 knots. The Columbia 400, 400i, 400SL and 400SLX are intercooled, twin-turbocharged, four-place aircraft certified to FL250 with a cruise speed of 235 knots.

FMI: www.flycolumbia.com

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