Extra Aircraft Opens New Facility in Florida

Aerobatic aircraft maker Extra Aircraft is opening a North American operation that reflects its popularity in the U.S.

Extra NG in flight

The Extra NG is certified to plus/minus 10gs. [Courtesy: Extra Aircraft]

Extra Aircraft is opening a U.S. operation at the DeLand Airport (KDED) in DeLand, Florida, to increase support for its large contingent of North American customers. The announcement came from company founder Walter Extra, an industry pioneer who has been designing and building aerobatic aircraft for more than 40 years.

The new division, Extra Aircraft USA, will provide factory-authorized maintenance and spare parts services for all Extra owners based in North America. It will also be the receiving point where company staff members will perform pre-delivery checks on new Extra aircraft entering the continent from the German factory. 

AOG and Spares Support

“I am very pleased to continue our success in the USA and announce this new Extra facility for our North American customers. We will provide AOG and complete spares support from DeLand backed up by the factory in Germany,” Extra said. “We will also grow our service offerings for scheduled maintenance such as annual inspections and the 1,000-hour inspection as well as unscheduled maintenance,” he added.

The company named Duncan Koerbel, a longtime aerospace executive and aerobatic pilot with 1,000 hours in Extra aircraft, as general manager of its new U.S. unit. Koerbel will work with Walter Extra’s sons, maintenance manager Eric Extra and production manager Marcus Extra, “to position the new factory-direct model to support the fleet well into the future,” the company said.

“It is safe to say I have a working knowledge of our customer base,” Koerbel told FLYING, reflecting on his six years of aerobatics competition and working through the ranks, from primary to advanced, of the International Aerobatic Club.

An Extra 300 pours on the smoke. [FLYING Archives]

A T-34 Mentor to an Extra 300S in the Championships

He said his first experience with aerobatics came in a T-34 Mentor while he was working at Beechcraft in the 1980s. He was hooked, but had to wait a few decades until what he called “a unique set of circumstances,” which included his children graduating from college, allowed him to get serious about competing.

He said he looks forward to flying his Extra 300S to the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships, which begin this Sunday in Salina, Kansas.

Extra began building aerobatic aircraft in the 1980s and through years of development gained the rare distinction of producing machines that are essentially off-the-shelf contest winners. Pilots who are serious about competition tend to fly Extras.

“We have an excellent order backlog and continue to be pleased with the demand for our new NG as well as the 330SC which was just flown to its eighth world championship in Poland,” 

Marcus Extra

“We have an excellent order backlog and continue to be pleased with the demand for our new NG as well as the 330SC which was just flown to its eighth world championship in Poland,” Marcus Extra said. The new operation in DeLand “will allow us to be even closer to our customers.” he added.

Eric Extra said the USA facility will be operational late this year to support the delivery of the next Extra NG and begin spare parts and maintenance operations.

“We have initially leased hangar facilities in DeLand but are exploring a purpose-built option for the long-term future. Marcus and I are excited to continue to grow the company our father founded forty years ago,” he said.

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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