Subscribe Free
in Business Aviation / Features

How Avionav is switching on the lights in Tunisia

Posted 20 September 2017 · Add Comment

Tunisia is growing its own indigenous aircraft manufacturing business and is now looking for wider market reach, as Vincent Chappard discovers.

Developing light aircraft in Tunisia has been a challenge met by Sousse-based Avionav, despite being in a segment of the market where it is competing with well-established manufacturers.
However, the company has bigger ambitions, according to its founder, Ferid Kamel.
Avionav was set-up in 2007 by two Italian manufacturers in Mateur. It was later bought by a group of Tunisian engineers and shifted to Sousse.
“Since then, we have been doing our very best to give entire satisfaction to our clients through high quality and top-of-the-line products at very reasonable prices, 30% less than our competitors,” Kamel said.
More than 1,300 of its models are now flying and around 40 light aircraft (two-four seats) come off its production line each year.
The aircraft are involved in many different missions, from training and agricultural roles through to advertising banner towing and leisure flying.
The company has a diversified and broad market including the US; Europe (Belgium, France, Italy and Spain); Latin America (Brazil and Argentina); Asia/Middle-East (Pakistan, UAE and Iran); and Africa (Tunisia and Algeria). New markets are being tapped like Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia and Qatar, according to Kamel.
“Africa is a very promising market. We are currently discussing with Senegal and Mauritania,” he said.
This development shows the determination of Avionav and other flourishing North African companies to have a role in the aviation sector by emphasising their strengths of tradition and geographical location, at the crossroads between the Middle East and Mediterranean Europe.
Avionav has five models, of which four are on the production line. Its design and engineering team is presently polishing a fifth prototype, the Sea Xilon, a four-seater amphibian seaplane that has been specifically designed to land on lakes and the sea as well as on a hard runway. There will also be a two-seat version. “It’s a very ambitious project, which requires much resource. Hopefully, the first two prototypes will be ready in a year,” said Kamel.
The company can deliver any of its aircraft one month after being ordered. Which is “quite rare” in this sector, says Kamel proudly.
For its high-winged Rally aircraft, the company has chosen carbon fibre for its numerous advantages. It is ultralight aircraft manufacturers (ULM) and light sport aircraft (LSA) certified.
Century (low-wing) with the same certification, has proven to be robust since 1991 when it came on the market.
Certified experimental in the US, Fury is an extended variant of the Century. It can accommodate two more seats.
The RG is another variant derived from the Century. This two-seater, with a retractable gear, needs another certification.
Avionav also provides design and engineering services to its clients in many fields of expertise including: computational fluid dynamics (CFD), radar Doppler multifunction (RDM), structural analysis, electrical design and certification.
Evada Aircraft, affiliated to the Swiss company, MCI, also wants to take its share of this niche market with its “cost-effective” aircraft models, the Evada A2, powered by a 130hp Rotax 915 engine, and the Evada A4, equipped with a six-cylinder Lycoming 0-540 engine.
Both models will be equipped with a full avionics and a retractable gear, enabling them to land on water or a hard runway. Retractable skis will be offered as an option.
“Our goal will be to have both the A2 and A4 Evada aircraft prototypes completed and certified with more than 100 units sold before this time next year,” said company CEO, Joseph Bourne.
Avionav and Evada Aircraft have entered into discussions over contract manufacturing and services with the view to launching the prototype of the amphibian aircraft.
 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Flyadeal announces Abha as its newest destination

Flyadeal, Saudi Arabia’s Everyday Low Fares Airline, will add Abha to its growing route network this month.

Turkish Airlines' mobile app offers discount flight tickets

Turkish Airlines now offers 15% discount on its all domestic and international flights for passengers who download the latest version of the carrier' mobile app.

Qatar Airways hightlights 'Qsuite' at Kuwait Aviation Show

Qatar Airways showcased its patented, award-winning new Business Class seat, Qsuite, for the first time in 2018 at the Kuwait Aviation Show, along with the airline’s ultra-modern extra-wide body Airbus A350-900.

Turkish Technic and Onur Air sign Pool contract

Onur Air has signed component repair and access (pool) contract with Turkish Technics for its Airbus A330 aircraft. The contract will be effective until 2023.

Etihad Airways executive embarks on round the world record attempt

Senior Etihad Airways executive, Andrew Fisher, embarks on a journey of a lifetime on 21 January when he attempts to break the world record by flying around the globe in the shortest time frame on scheduled flights, and with the fewest

Alliance takes interior design to a new dimension

Strata Manufacturing, Etihad Airways and German company, Siemens, have come together to create the Middle East’s first 3-D printing service for aircraft cabin parts. Alan Dron reports.

Kuwait Aviation SK1909310118
See us at
Global Aerospace BT2018AIME BT1204240118Aviation Africa BT18418BIAS BT271017161118ArabianTravelMkBT250418Abu Dhabi AirExpo BT2018MEBAA BT2018Istanbul Airshow BT22018Saudi Future Airports BT150318