Two Mexican firms have built the country’s first wooden aircraft, a two-seat, single-engine plane designed for recreational use.
Built with aviation-grade birch and fir, the aircraft has been certified by the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States and will be available for purchase in December. The selling price will be US $180,000.
The side-by-side two-seater belongs to the Light Sport Aircraft category, with a flight range of six hours at maximum cruising speed of 260 km/h. Designed by Giovanni Angelucci and built by the Mexican firms Horizontec and Pirwi, the planes can reach an altitude of 15,000 feet.
The builders describe the manufacturing process as artisanal; planes can be customized according to clients’ wishes.
Designed as a recreational and sports craft, the planes can also be used for educational and territorial surveillance purposes, explained the manufacturers.
This wooden airplane is the first in more than 50 years to be completely built in Mexico; the country’s rapidly growing aviation industry has manufactured only parts since the 1950s.
The first five planes built by Pirwi and Horizontec were presented on Wednesday during Mexico Design Week in Mexico City’s Museo Tamayo.