Gippsland Aeronautics is planning to offer a more powerful, stretched version of the eight-seat single-engined GA8 Airvan designed to fill a niche between the Cessna 206 and 208 Caravan single-engined turboprops.
"The ultimate aim is to stretch the aircraft to accommodate 10 seats," says co-founder and director George Morgan. Gippsland is considering a choice of engines including a Textron Lycoming I0-540-K1A5 piston, Lycoming's new 350hp (260kW) turbocharged engine under development or the Rolls-Royce B-17F2 turboprop.
"The hope is to have it certificated by the end of next year," says Morgan. The Airvan is designed for short strips and is used for passenger transport and utility operations. It has a cruise speed of 118kt (220km/h) and typical range of 1,350km (730nm) over 6h.
"We're flying in 28 countries worldwide, and are primarily used for tourist transport," says global sales manager Marguerite Morgan. "But we're also finding a market for humanitarian missionary work into areas with a poor infrastructure."