Grob Aircraft

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Grob Aircraft
Industry Aerospace
Founded Germany (1971 (1971))
Founder(s) Burkhart Grob
Headquarters Tussenhausen, Germany
Key people

André Hiebeler (CEO)

Andreas Konle (CFO)
Products Aircraft
Employees 150 (2013)[citation needed]
Parent H3 Aerospace GmbH & Co KG
Website www.grob-aircraft.com
Grob G 109 B motor glider, built in 1986
Grob 115E 'Tutor T1' operated by the Royal Air Force

Grob Aircraft is a German aircraft manufacturer, previously known as Grob Aerospace. It has been manufacturing aircraft using carbon fiber reinforced polymer since the 1970s.[1]

History[edit]

The company was founded in 1971 by Dr Burkhart Grob, son of Ernst Grob, who had started producing internal combustion engines in 1926 and later made other parts for the automobile industry. Grob Aerospace became involved in glider manufacture in 1971 when it was sub-contracted by Schempp-Hirth to build the Standard Cirrus under licence. Burkhart Grob was a power pilot and a glider pilot already.

Two hundred Standard Cirruses were built by Grob at its own Tussenhausen-Mattsies airfield between 1971 and 1975. In 1974 Grob decided to continue with glider production independently using its experience with fibre-composite construction. Instead of building competitive gliders, they decided to build for the club market at competitive prices. The result was the G-102 Astir. The two-seat G 103 Twin Astir followed shortly after.

In the late 1970s Grob also decided to build the G 109, the world's first production all-composite motor glider which was certified in 1981. This was following by the G 115 which was certified by the FAA in 1987. In the late 1980s the G 520 Egrett/STRATO 1 high-altitude aircraft was produced which established five world records. Glider production ceased in 1996 and production concentrated on powered aircraft.

The Grob G180 SPn, six-passenger jet, first flew in 2005. The second prototype crashed shortly after takeoff on November 29, 2006 near the production plant in Germany. Chief test pilot Gérard Guillaumaud, the aircraft's sole occupant, was killed.[2]

2008 insolvency[edit]

On 18 August 2008, Grob Aerospace filed for insolvency, suspending their light-jet production and calling into question timely delivery of Bombardier Aerospace's Learjet 85 prototypes which Grob was contracted to build. The company was unable to find any investors for its SPn jet project. Most employees were released on 3 November 2008.[3][4]

Niall Olver, Grob's chief executive officer said:

This unfortunate situation has arisen fairly rapidly off the back of recent delays in the SPn program, resulting in commensurately increased cash requirement to see the aircraft through to certification. Our current loan provider has elected to discontinue support, with immediate effect.[3]

On 16 December 2008 Grob insolvency administrator Dr. Michael Jaffé announced that two parties had expressed interest in taking over the insolvent company, Munich based H3 Aerospace and the Chinese Guizhou Aircraft Industry Corporation. Both companies offered about $4.5 million for Grob, with Guizhou also offering an additional $3.5 million for the SPn jet program.[5]

Grob Aircraft AG[edit]

G 120TP, G 120A, G 115E

In January 2009 H3 Aerospace bought the training aircraft and support business of Grob Aerospace and renamed it Grob Aircraft AG. The training aircraft production, which had been halted in November 2008, was restarted in February 2009.[6][7]

In April 2012 it was announced that Argentina's government-controlled Aircraft Factory FAdeA plans to produce 100 IA-63 Pampa II training and combat aircraft at its plant in Cordoba in association with Grob Aircraft AG. The Pampa II aircraft will have several parts for its updated version supplied by Grob.[8]

Aircraft Types[edit]

Formation flight of G 120TP (D-ETPX) and G 120A (D-ESAI)
Grob Aircraft G 120TP
Produced by Grob Aircraft AG
Produced by Grob Aerospace GmbH

SPn program[edit]

Grob Aerospace's largest creditor did not approve the sale of the SPn to Guizhou Aircraft Industry Corporation and instead retained it. Niall Olver, Grob Aerospace's former CEO, was appointed by the creditor to find new investors to buy the SPn assets with the aim of restarting the program by June 2009. Olver indicated in March 2009 that the plan was to complete certification and commence production near the middle of 2012.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "One of the Last German Airplane Manufacturers — Grob Aerospace". Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  2. ^ Sarsfield, Kate (December 2006). "Chief test pilot killed as aircraft comes down near factory during demonstration flight". Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  3. ^ a b Collogan, David (August 2008). "Grob Aerospace Files For Insolvency". Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  4. ^ Marsh, Alton K. (October 2008). "Credit crunch felt by GA manufacturers". Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  5. ^ Stocker, Thomas (December 2008). "Two Buyers Interested in Acquiring Grob". Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  6. ^ "Grob Aerospace Buyer Found". Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  7. ^ a b Sarsfield, Kate (March 2009). "SPn light business jet nearer to resurrection". Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  8. ^ Argentine factory begins production of Pampa training aircraft with German help, (April 10th 2012).

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°06′43″N 10°31′25″E / 48.11194°N 10.52361°E / 48.11194; 10.52361