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Daher increases the production capacity for its Kodiak multi-role aircraft at the company’s Sandpoint, Idaho industrial site



KODIAKLakeland, Florida. Daher’s Aircraft Division today announced the startup of increased production capacity for its Kodiak 100 and Kodiak 900 multi-role utility aircraft at the company’s manufacturing and final assembly facility in Sandpoint, Idaho.

This Kodiak production evolution was detailed by Nicolas Chabbert, Senior Vice President of Daher’s Aircraft Division, during the company’s show-opening press conference at the SUN ’n FUN Aerospace Expo in Lakeland, Florida. He also provided the stepped-up production targets for Kodiak aircraft in 2024: an increase to 25, compared to the total of 18 during 2023.

“Kodiak’s well-earned reputation as the legendary ‘go anywhere’ utility aircraft has been further enhanced since Daher’s 2019 acquisition of the product line, and its popularity continues to grow – with a current two-year order backlog,” Chabbert told reporters at the press conference. “The production enhancement announced today responds to the strong demand across the customer base – from private owners/operators to government agencies and special mission operators for applications such as wildfire suppression, environmental monitoring, law enforcement and medical evacuation.”

Sandpoint’s increased production capacity results from the addition of a second final assembly line that “mirrors” the build-up of Kodiaks once the basic airframe has been assembled. As a result, there now are separate, parallel integration steps for the Kodiak 100 and Kodiak 900 from Stages 3 to 6, involving wing and horizontal stabilizer mating; flight controls integration and rigging; engine and avionics installation; first flight; interior outfitting, and customer delivery.

“These parallel assembly lines were developed using our internal resources, fully benefiting from support across the Sandpoint team,” explained Kerry Olson, Daher’s Director of Kodiak Operations and Site Leader at Sandpoint. “The parallel production came on-line ahead of schedule, which is another point of pride for everyone at the facility.”

The increased production capacity follows other improvements at Sandpoint implemented by Daher, notably the investment of $2.7 million in a 9,000-sq-ft. aircraft painting facility that streamlined the overall production process and further improved the build quality for Kodiak 100s and Kodiak 900s.

To date, a combined total of 330 Kodiak 100s and Kodiak 900s have been delivered to owners and operators worldwide. The most recent Kodiak 900 – the seventh to date – was received by a private owner in March.

Enhancements in the Kodiak product line under Daher’s ownership include the Kodiak 900 version, which was unveiled in 2022. Inheriting the cornerstone Kodiak 100’s remarkable qualities as a backcountry STOL (short takeoff and landing) multi-role airplane, the Kodiak 900 has a fuselage length extension of 3.9 feet to provide more passenger room and cargo space, a cruise speed increase to 210 KTAS, and a greater useful load while offering a maximum range of 1,129 nautical miles.

The Kodiak 100 has been improved as well, beginning with Daher’s 2021 introduction of the Series III version that provides greater cabin comfort, augmented operational capabilities from both unimproved strips and on water with floats, as well as upgraded quality and more comprehensive maintenance coverage. Additionally, Daher is now delivering new-production Kodiak 100s equipped with a five-blade Hartzell composite propeller – which also is offered for retrofit on in-service Kodiak 100s.

Other retrofits and upgrades for earlier-production Kodiak 100s – such as the G1000 NXi integrated flight deck retrofit with next-generation avionics technology – are offered by Daher to enhance operability and maintain aircraft resale value.