The view from the Quest Kodiak’s cockpit seems odd and mildly unnerving, although it’s precisely the kind of situation the rugged short-takeoff-and-landing airplane is built for.
Quest Aircraft has secured an order from Japanese start-up operator Sky Trek for 20 Kodiak single-engined turboprops. The deal with the membership-based charter provider was announced on 15 November, and marks the largest single order to date for the high-wing, all-metal type.
The first Kodiak was shipped to the Toyko-based Sky Trek in late October and the remaining units will be delivered over the coming 12 months.
Quest – owned by Japanese companies Setouchi Holdings and Mitsui – says Sky Trek was launched on 7 November and plans to begin charter services in the first half of 2017, offering membership-based programmes to private individuals and corporations.
“The Kodiak is extremely well-suited for use in Japan, where the topography and private transportation infrastructure can be challenging,” says Quest, referring to the aircraft’s short take-off and landing performance and multi-mission capability.
“The Kodiak can take off in under 1,000ft [745m] at full gross take-off weight of 7,255lb [3,290kg] and climb at over 1,300 feet per minute,” the company adds. “With powerful [Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34] turbine performance, the Kodiak has the ability to land and take-off from unimproved surfaces and is capable of working off floats without structural upgrades.”
Flight Fleets Analyzer records a global fleet of more than 190 Kodiaks, the first having entered service in 2007. The Sandpoint, Idaho-based company shipped 23 examples in the first nine months of 2016, and Quest says it will pass the 200-unit delivery milestone by the end of the year.
Heard thru Flightglobal.com.