GippsAero, the Australia-based aircraft manufacturer owned by India’s Mahindra Aerospace, introduced a new executive interior option for its seven-seat GA8 Airvan today at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. One of the two Airvans it is displaying this week at the show has the executive cabin option.
GippsAero’s beefy boxcar of an airplane may look ungainly, but once you climb in and fire up its 320-hp turbocharged Lycoming TIO-540, pull the flaps lever all the way up and push the throttle to 40 inches of manifold pressure, the big single leaps forward and soars into the sky where it belongs.
Sales and product support specialist Hawker Pacific is due to hand over the keys of the 200th GippsAero GA8 Airvan to a customer in Asia this week. The sale came about as a direct result of a sales tour, which secured significant interest for the aircraft from countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Mahindra Aerospace, currently India’s only manufacturer of light aircraft for private/utility use, is preparing to open its new 270,000-sq-ft facility near Bangalore. This will be used for manufacturing metal components, aircraft assemblies and aerostructures, according to executive director and global CEO Arvind Mehra.
GippsAero, manufacturer of the GA8 Airvan utility aircraft, appointed three new parts and technical support distributors to its global network. (The company recently appointed Soloy Aviation Solutions to serve the U.S. market.)Hawker Pacific will focus on the Asian region and will exclusively support GippsAero’s existing and new clients across Asian countries. Gipps has appointed Piper Parts to support all countries throughout Europe, and Airvan Africa to cover all of Africa.
GippsAero (Hall 1 Stand D2) is currently flight-testing its new $1.3 million GA10 turboprop single and anticipates certification by May 2013. Because so much of the GA10 is based on the current GA8 piston-powered Airvan, the Australian company’s marketing manager Mark McNamara expects an expeditious certification program using one or two aircraft. “We’re excited to have the aircraft flying and headed toward certification,” he said.
GippsAero announced yesterday that the GA10 turboprop single has flown for the first time, on May 1 from its base at Latrobe Regional Airport in Victoria, Australia. GippsAero test pilot Tony Morris and flight-test engineer Gerhard Jordaan were at the controls of the Rolls-Royce 250-powered GA10–a stretched derivative of the company’s GA8 Airvan utility piston single–during the maiden flight.
The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) suspended the operations of Alligator Airways on May 3.
GippsAero appointed Tallahassee, Fla.-based Flightline Group as its authorized dealer for the Southeast U.S. last Thursday. The Australian-based manufacturer, which is owned by Mahindra Aerospace of Mumbai, India, currently produces the GA8 Airvan utility aircraft and it is developing the 10-seat GA10 turboprop single. Flightline Group is also the authorized dealer for Piper in the Southeast and for Honda Aircraft in the Southeast and Northeast.
Australia-based GippsAero launched a stretched turboprop derivative of its piston-powered GA8 Airvan, in addition to expanding its footprint in North America. Certified production of the GA10 turboprop single is expected to begin in 2013.
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