Update from Dave Limmer, CEO TurbAero
We’ve been making significant progress during the first quarter of 2020 as we transition into the prototyping and testing phase of our development program and this is testament to the hard work and dedication of our team.
While our progress has been pleasing, the recent advent of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a significant global impact and we are not immune to this. The closure or limited operations currently in place in China at the direction of the Chinese Government has caused delays in the sourcing and delivery of several major components for our prototype engine which were scheduled to be manufactured there. This has resulted in the need for us to look for alternative suppliers to manufacture those prototype components. Equally, our suppliers outside China are suffering the effects of the COVID-19 issue with personnel and workplace practices being affected. Just this week, we have been advised by several of our Australia/US suppliers that the delivery of their components has been delayed indefinitely. Consequently, the timeline to assemble and run the prototype engine is shifting to the right. This is very disappointing for us as we had been planning to run our engine before the Oshkosh airshow in late July, but this is now looking unlikely.
The COVID-19 issue has also impacted our team’s plan to attend various airshows. The Sun ‘n Fun airshow in Florida was scheduled for late March/early April 2020. At this point, the airshow has been postponed until May but the likelihood of it being cancelled altogether is very high. Even if it is not cancelled, we are now unable to attend given the travel restrictions in place. We also note that AERO Friedrichschafen in Germany which was scheduled for the same dates as Sun ‘n Fun has also been cancelled and will next be run in April 2021. We will endeavour to attend airshows when they are rescheduled wherever possible, and once travel restrictions are lifted.
Until recently, we were very excited to have a booth booked for Oshkosh 2020 and had been looking forward to actively displaying our actual running engine for the first time. However, with a question mark over whether Oshkosh will go ahead this year, combined with the expected delays to assemble and run the prototype engine, our ability to display at Oshkosh is now uncertain. We will continue to monitor the situation and advise further on this as information becomes available.
On a positive note, we have now rebranded as TurbAero and launched a new website. We anticipate this will expand over the coming weeks and months. The site will include more information and functionality to ensure we are ready to take orders when we launch the TA200TP later this year.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the members of our engineering team who recently relocated from Canada to our South Australian corporate office facility, as well as our newly appointed Production Manager. Our team is growing as we approach important business milestones with the ultimate goal of delivering a state of the art, 200hp turboprop engine to our loyal customers.
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As always, safe flying!