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Scaled Technology Works, a subsidiary of Precision Castparts Corp., has been selected by Liberty Aerospace to build up to 400 new single-engine airplanes each year, under a manufacturing agreement worth in excess of $60 million over the first four years. Market studies conducted for the Liberty XL-2, a single-engined aircraft with a comfortable cockpit, show this number could easily grow to more than $150 million. The XL-2 has a useful load of more than 600 pounds — enough for two heavy occupants, full fuel and baggage for touring. In addition, a cruise speed of 120 knots, a range greater than 500 miles and a low fuel burn ensure the Liberty XL-2’s competitiveness in the single-engine aircraft market. Liberty has designed a first-class touring aircraft for the private owner, which will also meet the exacting requirements of clubs and flying schools alike. In addition to manufacturing all composite components, Scaled Technology Works will assemble each aircraft, including installation of the wings, control surfaces, engine, avionics, hydraulics and landing gear. Scaled Technology Works will use advanced composite materials to manufacture about 50 percent of the aircraft’s structure, including the fuselage. The company also will play a major role in supporting Liberty’s design and FAA certification activities. The aircraft is expected to be FAA-certified by the fourth quarter of 2001, with certification in Europe and other countries to follow shortly thereafter. Delivery of the first production XL-2 airplane is scheduled for the first quarter of 2002. A fuselage mock-up will be displayed October 20-22 at a conference of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) in Long Beach, California. “We selected Scaled Technology Works as our contract manufacturer, as they have the right mix of capabilities, facilities and experience to ensure complete program success,” said Tony Tiarks, Liberty’s chief executive officer. “It has taken us more than three years to create this new, competitive aircraft. Clearly, we are excited about our new partnership with Scaled Technology Works.”
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