A joint venture between New Zealand’s Pacific Aerospace (PAC) and Mecachrome of Canada has begun assembly of the PAC 750XL single-turboprop utility aircraft at Mirabel airport, near Montreal.
The first Mirabel-assembled aircraft was displayed at last month’s AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The PAC Mecachrome joint venture plans to assemble two or three more aircraft this year from knock-down kits, but does not expect the North American market to take off until the New Zealand manufacturer completes instrument flight rules (IFR) certification of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34-powered PAC 750XL, expected by year-end.
The basic visual flight rules (VFR) aircraft has been sold in the USA for skydiving, but IFR certification will allow the PAC 750XL to be offered for cargo operations, passenger transport and other roles including missionary flying, says Stéphane Hebert, chief legal officer for Mecachrome.
Aircraft for the North American market will also be offered with a new seating configuration and an underfuselage cargo pod, which will be certificated at the same time as IFR capability, Hebert says.
GRAHAM WARWICK/WASHINGTON DC
Source: Flight International