Atol Avion and Atol USA Finalize License Agreement
Brunswick, Maine and Friedrichshafen, Germany on April 19, 2018 – Atol Avion and Atol USA today announced the signing of a license agreement providing Atol USA the exclusive rights to manufacture the Atol 650 in North America.
Atol USA, Inc. is a joint venture between Finland’s Atol Avion and a US based investor group and is headquartered in Brunswick, Maine. Atol USA further announced the addition of Barry Valentine and Earle Harvey to its board of directors. The earlier board was headed by Paul Richards and supported by Anssi Rekula and Jaakko Kilpeläinen.
Mr. Valentine is the former administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and Mr. Harvey is the former President of Border Trust Co. The Atol 650 is a high performance, amphibious aircraft designed to the Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) rule and boasts an industry leading 600 pound useful load.
Flying surfaces employ light and rugged Oratex fabrics, ideally suited to the demands of off airport operations and the aircraft’s forward accessible cockpit makes docking a breeze. Each component has been optimized through design and selection of materials which include carbon-fiber, aluminum, Kevlar and wood-composites. This optimization has led to the high payload without compromising strength and durability.
“The Atol 650 is the class leader of the amphibious LSA’s” states Paul Richards, Atol USA’s President. “The 650 is a serious adventure machine, as comfortable in the back county as on a suburban pond. It’s useful load and rugged construction supports a range of mission’s others can only dream of…and it’s a blast to fly” Anssi Rekula, Atol Avion co-founder and sales director says “Finland has 188,000 lakes, so we know the joys of water flying…and the demands. Many of these lakes are remote and require range and reliability to access so we designed the 650 for this environment.”
Anssi knows reliability after 25 years of commercial flying at flight level 350, but also understands the joy of low and slow. “Although the 650 is mission capable it’s also perfect for the sheer pleasure of flight….cruising at 100 knots is the perfect speed to see the world slip by. North America is the biggest aviation market with huge demand for seaplanes and we think Atol USA Inc is the best and fastest solution for us to be able to serve our North American customers.
Our Rovaniemi factory in Finland remains to produce for the rest of the world and for product development”, Anssi adds. “This license is the next step in our evolution of the 650” remarked Markku Koivurova, Atol Avion’s President. “We are fully committed to the North American Market and feel the appropriate way to serve and support this is with full manufacturing in the US.
We are well along on our EASA certification and now is the right time to begin ramping our US capabilities”. Maine’s aviation community has also gotten behind the project according to Barry Valentine. Valentine is the Chairman of the Maine Aviation Business Association (MABA) and as a former administrator of the FAA understands the challenges in bringing a new aircraft to market. “MABA is all about helping Maine’s aviation industry succeed and we think this project has all the elements required for success. In fact, I felt so strongly I welcomed the opportunity to serve as a Director. It actually fulfills a long-standing dream…I started building an amphibian in my garage years ago and now I can see that dream to completion.”
Earle Harvey’s banking experience provides a bottom line perspective to Atol USA’s board. “Running a bank requires a keen eye for multiple bottom lines” comments Harvey. “We need to keep as close an eye on our banks financial health and that of our clients…after all they are the one’s who make deposits and pay back loans. Aviation can be financially challenging but I’m convinced the Atol 650 is the right product at the right time for the right market segment. I’m also delighted to combine my banking background with my love of flying and excited to help guide the company to success”. “Earle is not just any aviator” comments Richards.
“With thousands of hours and a CFII rating Earle really walks the walk and is a tremendous addition to our team.” Atol Avion will begin deliveries for European customers from their Finnish factory late this year and Atol USA plans to deliver aircraft beginning in early 2019. Plan to see the Atol 650 at Oshkosh in July.
About Atol Avion:
The founders of Atol Avion have a passion for amphibious sport flying, a natural affinity from a country with nearly 200,000 lakes and are the developers of the Atol 650 Light Sport Aircraft. The 650 has been under development for over 5 years with development and production facilities in Rovaniemi, Finland. www.Atol.fi About Atol USA, Inc: Atol USA, Inc is a joint venture between Atol Avion and an American Investor group and was formed to handle the production, delivery and support of the Atol 650 for the North American market. Atol USA is headquartered at Brunswick Landing in Brunswick, ME. www.Atol.US
About Maine Aviation Business Association:
The Maine Aviation Business Association is a 501(C6) non- profit organization dedicated to the promotion of aviation interests through the State of Maine and funded by its member organizations. For more information please visit MaineAviationBusiness.org