Kestrel K-350

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Kestrel K-350 POC
Role single engine turboprop
Manufacturer Kestrel Aircraft
One Aviation
First flight 29 July 2006
Number built 1 proof-of-concept
Unit cost
USD$3.2 million (projected)[1]

The Kestrel K-350 or Kestrel (previously the Kestrel JP10) is a high-performance, single engine turboprop, all-composite, six-seat aircraft.[2][3]

The proof-of-concept (POC) first flew on 29 July 2006[4] and by April 2010, registered N352F, had logged about 260 hours.[5] The engine that has been powering the POC is a Pratt & Whitney PT6-67A turboprop flat rated to 1,000 hp (746 kW).[2] In 2011 the company selected the Honeywell TPE331-14GR engine as first choice for the aircraft, also flat rated to approximately 1,000 hp (746 kW).[6]

The company, formed in 2002 to build the aircraft, was started by Richard Noble who was responsible for the team that first broke the sound barrier on land. Noble envisioned the aircraft's primary role as being part of the fleet of “air taxis” flying over Europe that provide an alternative to both commercial airlines and chartered corporate jets. Noble named his Farnborough, England based company “Farnborough Aircraft” and the design for the then designated “F1” was detailed.[7]

The company was later moved to the United States and the name changed to "Kestrel Aircraft Company", with the aircraft’s designation changing from “F1” to “JP100”,[8] to “JP10”, and is now the "K-350".

In April 2015 the company was merged with Eclipse Aerospace to form One Aviation.[9]


The aircraft's layout is low-wing with a conventional tail. The tricycle undercarriage is fully retractable. Its construction uses composites incorporating carbon fiber. The carbon-fiber composite construction is claimed to allow a lower drag shape than does all-metal construction. The wing is also of carbon-fiber construction and features a high lift laminar flow design worked out mostly by aerodynamicist Dr. Gordon Robinson.[10]

The cabin features a club-seating arrangement, a toilet (or a possible seventh seat), and a baggage compartment in the pressurized area. In the cockpit, side window pillars are eliminated for a more unobstructed view for the pilot.[11]

Farnborough Aircraft formed a business alliance with Epic Aircraft to develop both companies' aircraft and as a result the POC aircraft appears similar to the Epic LT. The wing is reportedly the same, while the Kestrel’s fuselage is 20 inches longer than the Epic’s. The fuselage is also slightly wider and has a 27% greater interior volume.[12] The window and door arrangement on the left side of the aircraft is noticeably different.


A business partnership formed in 2006 to complete the Kestrel’s development, named the Gulf Aircraft Partnership and located in the UAE, did not proceed.[8]

In 2009 Kestrel Aircraft’s Adrian Norris reported that the company was ready to freeze the design and build conformal prototypes as part of the effort to seek FAR Part 23 certification.[13]

In early 2010 a business relationship had been formed with Liberty Aerospace of Melbourne, Florida, United States to provide assistance with Toray carbon fiber components.[5]

In July 2010, Alan Klapmeier, co-founder of Cirrus Design Corporation, joined with Anthony Galley and others in the renamed Kestrel Aircraft Company. The wing is to be redesigned to improve stall characteristics and ease of construction, most likely eliminating the wing’s planform elliptical leading edge.[14]

On 23 July 2010 Kestrel Aircraft announced that they will be relocating from Farnborough, Hampshire, England, to large, relatively newly built hangars at the soon-to-be-closed Brunswick Naval Air Station in Brunswick, Maine, United States. The company will receive some local financial assistance in exchange for an anticipated eventual creation of some 300 jobs. On January 17, 2012, it was announced that the aircraft will be produced in Superior, Wisconsin due to tax incentives totalling US$50 million, and that a smaller workforce would remain in Brunswick creating composite components for the aircraft.[15]

In July 2013 it was announced that the aircraft would be equipped with the Garmin G3000 avionics suite. Kestrel CEO Alan Klapmeier also stated that funding delays had slowed progress on the aircraft and that a conforming prototype was now expected to be ready in the summer of 2014, with the first customer delivery forecast for the end of 2015 or early 2016. Type certification costs were estimated at US$175M, with US$50M already spent.[16]

By September 2013 employees were reporting that the company was short of money and that salaries and insurance payments were missing or late, and that vendors had not been paid. The company indicated that development had been delayed due to lack of investment and that the first flight of a production aircraft would not occur in 2014.[17]

In early 2014 it was reported that Kestrel Aircraft had fallen months behind on loan payments to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) due to financing delays. It was also reported that the delay in financing had impacted hiring, causing the company to reduce its staff in Superior. The WEDC and Kestrel agreed upon new terms that would defer the payments until November 2014.[18][19] As of July 2014, some finance had come in and employment grew at its Brunswick Landing facility, but the total amount of $100 million had not been reached.[20]

In October 2017 the state of Wisconsin announced that it was commencing legal action against the Kestrel division of One Aviation for failure to repay US$4M in loans given to it in 2012, plus more in tax benefits. Kestrel has repaid $865,490 of the $4M but has missed all payments since November 2016. Kestrel was also evicted from its facility in Maine after falling more than a year behind on rent. One Aviation CEO Alan Klapmeier told AIN Online that development of the Kestrel K-350 "had been shelved" while the company focuses on other aircraft projects.[21][22]

Specifications (Kestrel K-350)[edit]

Data from manufacturer[23]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Capacity: seven
  • Length: 38.5 ft (11.7 m)
  • Wingspan: 45.0 ft (13.7 m)
  • Height: 12.8 ft (3.9 m)
  • Empty weight: 5,200 lb (2,359 kg)
  • Gross weight: 8,552 lb (3,879 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Honeywell TPE331-14GR turboprop, 1,650 hp (1,230 kW) flat rated to 1,000 hp (746 kW)
  • Propellers: 4-bladed Hartzell Propeller, constant speed


  • Range: 1,125 nmi (1,295 mi; 2,084 km)
  • Service ceiling: 31,000 ft (9,400 m)
  • Rate of climb: 2,250 ft/min (11.4 m/s)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Huber, Mark (20 October 2013). "Kestrel Aircraft Is Poised for the Next Phase of Growth". AINonline. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b Dave Higdon. "Turboprop round-up". Archived from the original on 2012-03-03. Retrieved 2010-07-28.
  3. ^ Warwick, Graham (14 October 2013). "In the Pipeline: Kestrel Aircraft: K-350". Aviation Week & Space Technology. Vol. 175 no. 36. p. 71.
  4. ^ "Farnborough Aircraft F1 Kestrel prototype performs first flight". London: Flightglobal. 1 August 2006. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  5. ^ a b Trautvetter, Chad (15 April 2010). "Kestrel Program Could Fly with Liberty Aero's Help". AINonline. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
  6. ^ "Honeywell to Power Kestrel Turboprop". AOPA. 22 July 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  7. ^ Matthew Stibbe. "Richard Noble's New Mission". Retrieved 2010-07-28.
  8. ^ a b Alcock, Charles (26 September 2006). "Farnborough turboprop renamed Kestrel JP100". AINonline. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  9. ^ Grady, Mary (15 April 2015). "Kestrel And Eclipse Join Forces". AVweb. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  10. ^ "The F1 Aircraft". Farnborough Aircraft. Archived from the original on 12 June 2004. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  11. ^ Collins, Peter (23 January 2007). "Farnborough Aircraft Kestrel - Wings of desire". Flightglobal. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  12. ^ Alcock, Charles (25 September 2006). "Epic-Farnborough partnership goes awry". AINonline. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  13. ^ Huber, Mark (22 October 2009). "Farnborough Kestrel Could Be Built by Liberty". AINonline. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  14. ^ George, Fred (25 July 2010). "Kestrel Aircraft Makes Oshkosh Debut". Aviation Week. Archived from the original on 16 October 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  15. ^ Koenig, Seth (25 July 2010). "$100 million, 300 jobs—Airplane manufacturer to launch new line in Brunswick". The Times Record. Archived from the original on 24 August 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
  16. ^ Bertorelli, Paul. "Garmin G3000 Selected For Kestrel". AVweb. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  17. ^ Pew, Glenn. "Kestrel Running Rough". AVweb. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  18. ^ "Financing Delays Impact Kestrel Project in Superior". WDIO Eyewitness News. Archived from the original on 10 June 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  19. ^ Wagness, Billy (28 February 2014). "Superior-based Kestrel Aircraft months behind on loan payments". Superior, WI: KBJR News 1. Retrieved 18 June 2014 – via Northland's NewsCenter.
  20. ^ Fishell, Darren (31 July 2014). "Kestrel CEO: Financing puzzle still coming together, not complete". Portland, ME: Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  21. ^ Grady, Mary (12 October 2017). "Kestrel Stalls In Wisconsin, Maine". AVweb. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  22. ^ Meyers, John (11 October 2017). "Aircraft plans grounded: Wisconsin taking legal action against Kestrel; IRRRB loan sits untouched". Duluth News Tribune. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  23. ^ "Kestrel · Features". One Aviation. Retrieved 21 April 2015.

External links[edit]