CLEBURNE, Tex., February 10, 2014 — Joe Frakes today announced the creation of Mallard Aircraft, a new venture to reintroduce the Turbine Mallard amphibious utility, commuter, VIP and special mission aircraft. Aviation industry veteran Sam L. Jantzen, Jr. will head up the program, including market introduction and global manufacturer selection for initial Mallard production.
The original Grumman Mallard was the first aircraft certified by the FAA in the transport category. Beginning in 1970, the late J. Fred Frakes began engine conversions from early radial piston power to Pratt & Whitney turbine engines. He later purchased the type certificate for the Mallard and incorporated the turbine STC into the type certification.
The all-new Turbine Mallard heralds back to the original Grumman design, only with 21st century upgrades including all-new Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 engines, Rockwell Collins avionics and a host of other details and design features.
Jantzen joins the team as managing director, driving all reintroduction efforts and program management. Jantzen’s aviation career has spanned more than 35 years – both as a pilot, as well as executive positions at Cessna Aircraft, Fairchild Aircraft, Commuter Air Technology, Raisbeck Engineering and Blackhawk Modifications. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Oklahoma State University and a Masters of Business degree from Colorado State University.
“We are thrilled to have Sam come aboard to lead this new venture and get the redesigned Mallard to market,” said Joe Frakes. “For years, customers have asked us to bring the Mallard back into production, and I can’t think of a better person than Sam to help us make this a reality.”
The all-new Turbine Mallard from Mallard Aircraft is the only aircraft expressly designed for amphibious flight, and is also one of the most powerful and capable. Thanks to its PW&C PT6 engines, it flies faster than its competition and is customizable for any mission requirement up to and including room for 17 passengers, when configured for passenger transport.
Mallard Aircraft is an affiliate of Frakes Aviation.