GippsAero selects Soloy for GA8 final assembly in North America

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Australian aircraft manufacturer GippsAero has selected Soloy Aviation Solutions to conduct assembly of its GA8 Airvan utility aircraft for the North American market as it seeks to boost US orders for the type.

Soloy, which is based in Olympia, Washington, and provides a range of aviation services including retrofits, re-assembly and aircraft parts, will be responsible for assembly and technical support for GippsAero for all North American orders. Initially the deal covers the GA8 Airvan but it could be extended to include the new GA10 and GA18, says GippsAero, which is owned by India's Mahindra Aerospace.

GippsAero has 35 GA8 Airvans flying in the Americas, of which 26 are based in the USA. The manufacturer has recently been targeting the market for future sales, although it declines to comment on sales forecasts for the region.

This year GippsAero has already appointed US companies Muncie Aviation and Flightline Group as dealers for the market and US assembly has been on the manufacturer's wish list for some time. Many of the high-value components of the aircraft, including the engine, propeller and avionics, originate from the US. As a result, it makes good commercial sense to ship critical aircraft components from Australia for local assembly to reduce lead time and improve flexibility in delivering a more customised solution for the market, says GippsAero.

"We are strategically implementing Airvan maintenance centres to penetrate the market and ensure the Airvan is a viable aircraft for operators in the US. Soloy is a welcome addition to the growing North American strategy as they have unparalleled capabilities to assemble, service and support GA8 Airvans in the region," says Dr Terry Miles, GippsAero chief executive.