Kinetic still seeks home

PHOTO/Rob Stapleton/AJOC
transportation.jpg Pilots and potential aircraft buyers asking whatever happened to the Mountain Goat manufacturing effort in Alaska may be surprised to learn the airplane’s designer and builder is taking orders and deposits for the high performance aircraft.

"If you want to get an airplane early on, you’d better get off the stick and order one," said Bill Montagne, president of Kinetic Aviation Inc.

A deposit of $5,000 will secure a delivery position, according to Montagne. He said deposits will be used for certification and production start-up and associated costs. Deposits will also ensure an additional discount on the purchase price of one plane, he said..

Montagne claims more than 1,000 people have signed up to make deposits on the aircraft..

The Anchorage Economic Development Corp. has continued to work to find financing and land for Kinetic Aviation’s manufacturing efforts in the municipality, according to AEDC officials.

"We still have an interest in finding a location for Kinetic," said Larry Crawford, executive director of AEDC. "Once he has the financing, we can find the airplane company a home." Crawford indicated land near Birchwood Airport could be developed.

Montagne has an elaborate financing plan to proceed with the certification and manufacturing of the single-engine aircraft, which boast landing speeds of 25 mph and cruise speeds in excess of 155 mph with tundra tires.

Montagne is considering Alaska, Washington and South Dakota as manufacturing sites. Although the aircraft has not been certifieddand the company is still seeking a home, Montagne would prefer to locate in Alaska.

"All three states would make excellent choices for several reasons," he said. "The determining factors will be what happens with our deposit program, loans and investment, as well as local incentives."

When asked why, after all former attempts at locating in the state have failed, he would continue to want to manufacture in Alaska, his response remains the same: "Because Alaska takes my breath away!"

Montagne also believes that as a high performance aircraft designed for use in rural areas, the Mountain Goat will be popular with pilots in the Alaska Bush.

The Mountain Goat recently won second place in the 20th annual Excellence in Design Competition from Design News magazine. The competition is an annual worldwide contest for the best new technology of the year.

04/21/2001 - 8:00pm