Former NAS Brunswick Will See New PLanes

NAS Brunswick, Maine, is slated to close next year. I and many others consider it one of the most bone-headed, regressive and utterly contemptible moves that Congress has ever done, and that’s saying a LOT. Having said that, however,  at least civilian aviation will be able to use a portion of the facility.

In a move announced today,  Kestrel Aircraft will be moving onto the base to manufacture General Aviation aircraft. Our local newspaper, The Times Record, has the story.

By Seth Koenig, Times Record Staff

Friday, July 23, 2010 2:25 PM EDT

BRUNSWICK — The founder of one of the most successful small aircraft companies in the world is planning to launch a $100 million airplane manufacturing project in Brunswick.

Base redevelopment officials, town leaders and state dignitaries assembled at Augusta State Airport this morning to announce the arrival of Alan Klapmeier, co-founder of Cirrus Aircraft Corp. Klapmeier’s new firm, Kestrel Aircraft, expects to ultimately hire more than 300 workers to build airplanes on Brunswick Naval Air Station property.

“It’s a $100 million deal and they’re announcing that they’ve selected Maine as the location where they will build these airplanes,” said Steve Levesque, executive director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, the group guiding the civilian reuse of the 3,200-acre base.

This is good news for the home front, in that it represents a potential hiring of 300 workers whose salaries will help strengthen a local economy already hard hit.  It also means potential business for local suppliers, vendors, and all the other businesses that every industry relies on locally. I’ll keep you posted as this develops.

More here and here

Kestrel Turboprop here

Kestrel JP-10 Turboprop

15 Responses to “Former NAS Brunswick Will See New PLanes”

  1. 1 Scott "Scooter Pie" Cochran, AW1 Retired
    July 23, 2010 at 23:24

    Bondheads they are for shutting down NAS Brunswick as well as NAS Keflavik, Iceland, Adak, Alaska and others including and the Navy portion of Lajes AFB, Azores. It is quite evident to me that they are probably the same boneheads that decided to get rid of the P-3, their bases, and real ASW. Tim, if I had the money and connections, I would buy us a P-3C (or a whole squadron of) and hand pick a crew(s) that would always be on ready alert for the time that will come when they say, gosh, wish we still had the P-3’s and the trained personnel for ASW like we did in the cold war. It would then that we could then write our own ticket and make policy. First order of policy would be to fire every last one of them and begin anew with people from WWII and the cold war.

    • 2 Scott "Scooter Pie" Cochran, AW1 Retired
      July 24, 2010 at 00:18

      Tim, its so sad as I see all that we were involved with gone or dieing off. It is like a part of me has died and the worst part of it is that I can do nothing about it. I want you to know that your blog is one of the few things left that keeps me from just checking myself into the insane asylum. You and the few others like you are just about all that is left of “real” and “sane” left in this world. I sooooooooo greatly appreciate you taking the time to keep the P-3C and ASW of old “alive”.

  2. July 24, 2010 at 00:40


    My pipe dream is to win the lottery and buy a P-3 and have it retrofitted as the ultimate RV. There’s plenty of ex P-3 pilots and FE’s out there to hire some to fly it around.

    Prolly never happen, but if it does, you, me and a few others can have the ultimate road trip. 🙂

    • 4 Scott "Scooter Pie" Cochran, AW1 Retired
      July 24, 2010 at 02:21

      Better yet….if we win the lottery, lets buy (2) P-3’s and outfit one to live in as a mobile home. Gosh, I am drooling! And as for retrofitting the P-3 into the ultimate RV……..where is our first fly to point?

    • 6 Byron
      July 25, 2010 at 12:33

      When you do, let my son-in-law the Ugly Chief know, he used to be a mech on P-3’s and was first stationed at Brunswick 🙂 He can keep the rubber bands tight!

  3. 8 Randy Beck
    July 24, 2010 at 03:23

    I share those sentiments but it could be worse.

    I’m reminded of the Minsk. I first read about the Minsk in my senior year of high school. A few years later, I saw it while on my WESTPAC deployment. It was still relatively new then.

    But it had a relatively short life as a Soviet warship. After that, while it should still have been in its prime, it became the main event for a Chinese amusement park. It’s probably destined for scrap now — a more dignified fate.

    Of course, I’m gratified a potential enemy warship is out of commission. But its crew must be feeling a lot worse than I felt when I heard Brunswick’s runways were closed.

    It’s nice to see that Kestrel makes turboprops.

    • July 24, 2010 at 05:27

      Yup… turboprops to me are the best of both worlds. You get a highly efficient jet engine, and the ability to have instant acceleration when needed.

      I admit a partiality to props. Call it a weakness if you must, but there’s a certain familiarity and comfort in the sound of those whirling blades.


      • 10 ewok40k
        July 26, 2010 at 05:37

        is it me or that little Kestrel turboprop could have been a nice antipiracy patrol aircraft given some imaging IR, radar and a pair of hellfires under each wing…

  4. 11 John
    July 24, 2010 at 04:10

    Smart move by the business guys. Maine workers know how to work, and take pride in what they do, and retain the legendary “Yankee ingenuity.” BIW is a great example.

    Good for the community too. Good solid jobs, as long as the Dhimmocrats don’t decide they have to shut down general aviation like they have so many other businesses, either by taxes, regulation, or their rabid trial attorney pals.

    Of course, shutting down NAS Brunswick, et al was typical idiots at work move, but we are stuck with it for now. Hope we do not come to rue the say we engaged in self imposed disarmament in the ASW field. Not the the NORKS, Iranians, Chinese, or Venezuelans or anyone else could possibly have mischief up their sleeves.

    • July 24, 2010 at 05:25

      Amen brother, to everything. We’ll see how it all plays out, but for now, at least they are keeping the runways open and the tower and ancillary equipment on standby to reopen if needs be.


  5. 13 Quartermaster
    July 24, 2010 at 16:00

    I wonder how well the Kestrel will sell. I like the idea of a GA turboprop, but the price tag is usually high. Normally 1.2 Million+. While the ongoing maintenance of a turbine tends to be less, when the real stuff comes along. I think the PT-6 has TBOs of about 3500 hours and tends to run in the 100-150K neighborhood.

    It is nice to something other than the Piper Meridian in the field, however. I wish the kestrel website had some performance stats to compare with the meridian.

  6. 14 ewok40k
    July 25, 2010 at 16:53

    Keflavik is going out of business? Russian submariners mst be jumping with joy, limited by the concern for not having much to pass thru GIUK gap anymore…

  7. 15 Steve Olson
    September 7, 2010 at 08:15

    How much trouble was VP-23 in when they were de-commissioned? They were in serious downhill slide when I left in ’83.

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