GippsAero GA8 Airvan
|The prototype GA8 Airvan in front of the Latrobe Valley Aero Club circa 1999|
|First flight||3 March 1995|
|Primary user||United States Civil Air Patrol|
The aircraft was designed to fill a market niche perceived by the manufacturer between the Cessna 206 and Cessna 208 models. It is used in various roles, including passenger services; freight; sightseeing; parachuting; observation and search and rescue.
As of June 2013[ref], 200 Airvans had been produced and delivered.
A turbocharged version of the aircraft was in planning from 2004, and the prototype turbocharged aircraft commenced flight testing in October 2006. In February 2009, Gippsland Aeronautics announced that the Australian Civil Aviation Authority had issued an amendment to the GA8 type certificate to cover the turbocharged variant. This version is designated as the GA8-TC320 and is powered by a 320 HP Lycoming TIO-540-AH1A Turbocharged Fuel Injected Engine. The first deliveries took place in February 2009, with several GA8 TC-320 Airvans delivered to customers in Australia and New Zealand.
A turboprop derivative of the GA8, the GA10, is also being developed. It is a slightly stretched 10-seat capacity aircraft powered by a Rolls-Royce 250-B17F/2 turboprop engine. It is planned to retain as much parts commonality with the GA8 as possible.
One GA8 Airvan, VH-BYI, became the first Australian designed and manufactured aircraft to fly around the world, raising funds for malaria awareness. It was piloted by Australian pilots, Ken Evers and Tim Pryse, who took off from Bendigo Australia on 8 May 2010. After flying 27,675 nautical miles in over 263 flight hours and burning over 16,000 litres of Avgas, the two men returned to Bendigo 62 days after take-off, and at 2:33pm, Ken and Tim landed back in Bendigo. Their flight took them through several malaria endemic countries, and their charity Millions Against Malaria continues to work in malaria plagued areas such as Papua New Guinea.
The GA8 is popular with air charter companies, skydiving operators and small feeder air carriers. Larger operators include the US Civil Air Patrol which flies 18 Airvans for Search and Rescue operations, of which 16 carry the Airborne Real-time Cueing Hyperspectral Enhanced Reconnaissance (ARCHER) system, which can be used to search for aircraft wreckage based on its spectral signature. Mission Aviation Fellowship Australia operates eleven Airvans, providing air-transport services in developing countries.
Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 2003–2004
- Crew: 1
- Capacity: 7 passengers
- Length: 8.95 m (29 ft 4 in)
- Wingspan: 12.28 m (40 ft 3 in)
- Height: 3.89 m (12 ft 9 in)
- Wing area: 19.32 m2 (208.0 sq ft)
- Aspect ratio: 7.9:1
- Empty weight: 997 kg (2,198 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 1,814 kg (3,999 lb)
- Fuel capacity: 340 L (74.8 Imp Gallons)
- Powerplant: 1 × Textron Lycoming IO-540-K1A5 air-cooled flat-six, 220 kW (300 hp)
- Propellers: 2-bladed Hartzell F8475R constant speed propeller
- Maximum speed: 241 km/h (150 mph; 130 kn) at 1,525 m (5,000 ft)
- Cruising speed: 222 km/h (138 mph; 120 kn) at 3,050 m (10,000 ft)
- Stall speed: 97 km/h (60 mph; 52 kn) (flaps down)
- Range: 1,352 km (840 mi; 730 nmi)
- Endurance: 6 hr
- Service ceiling: 6,100 m (20,013 ft)
- Rate of climb: 4.00 m/s (788 ft/min)
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Wallace, Lane (7 May 2005). "Flying Magazine, May 2005". Flyingmag.com. Retrieved 2011-02-15.
- "GA web site". Gippsaero.com. Retrieved 2011-02-15.
- "GippsAero's GA10 project on track". Australian Flying. 3 March 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
- "GA News Media Archives". Gippsaero.com. Retrieved 2011-02-15.
- "Mahindra GippsAero GA8 TC 320 Airvan makes maiden landing in Mumbai". India Infoline News Service. 21 February 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- "MAF web-page". Maf.org.au. 5 May 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-15.
- "GippsAero". GippsAero. 18 March 2004. Retrieved 2011-02-15.
- Jackson 2003, p. 6.
- Jackson, Paul (2003). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 2003–2004. Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-7106-2537-5.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gippsland GA8.|
- Gippsland Aeronautics Official Site
- GA October 2006 newsletter
- CASA Australia Type Certificate and Type Certificate Data Sheet
- FAA Type Certificate Data Sheet
- Specs & Photo at Flugzeuginfo.net