AVALON: GippsAero GA10 faces delay

Melbourne
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Mahindra Aerospace manufacturer GippsAero is aiming for certification of its new 10-seat, multirole turboprop, the GA10, in the first quarter of 2014 following a slight delay in the programme.

The aircraft flew for the first time in May 2012 and certification was planned for this year, but the manufacturer has changed the baseline aircraft, says Elizabeth Allenbaugh, marketing and communications manager.

The aircraft, due to appear on the last two trade days of Avalon, will now have additional features including instrument flight rules capabilities straight away, necessitating a slight delay in the certification programme, says Allenbaugh. The changes are due to prospective customer input, she adds.

Although the manufacturer has yet to open a deposit programme for the 10-seat version of the popular eight-seat GA8 Airvan, there is a lot of interest in the Rolls-Royce 250-powered aircraft, particularly from existing customers, says Allenbaugh. The aircraft is based on the same concept of simplicity and low operating cost that has proved successful with the high-wing GA8, she adds.

Once the GA10 is certificated, GippsAero plans to finalise plans for the GA18 programme - the former Nomad. GippsAero was previously planning certification of the re-engined and updated aircraft in 2014, but Allenbaugh says the manufacturer will not commit to a timescale for the programme until the GA10 is certificated, adding that the manufacturer is still committed to the programme.

Meanwhile, GippsAero is seeking to boost its presence in the North American market. The manufacturer has appointed a number of new authorised dealers and spare parts providers for the aircraft around the world, with a particular focus on North America, with more appointments to be made there this year, says Allenbaugh. "Brand awareness of the GA8 is low in North America at the moment," she says, adding that an "aggressive" brand campaign is planned.