GippsAero GA8 Airvan
|Gippsland Aeronautics GA-8 Airvan 8|
|First flight||3 March 1995|
|Primary user||United States Civil Air Patrol|
|Number built||~240 delivered as of 2017|
The aircraft was designed to fill a market niche perceived by the manufacturer between the Cessna 206 and Cessna 208 models, with seating for six and up to fourteen passengers respectively. It is used in various roles, including passenger services; freight; sightseeing; parachuting; observation and search and rescue.
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 Safety 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-TC320 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 many common parts with the GA8 as possible.
At EAA Oshkosh 2014, the GA8 Airvan was officially renamed as Mahindra Airvan 8.
- Production version with a Textron Lycoming IO-540-K1A5 engine.
- Variant with a Textron Lycoming TIO-540-AH1A engine.
228 Airvan 8s were in service as of July 2019.
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. Mission Aviation Fellowship Suriname operates two Airvans. Operators include the following:
- Air Fraser Island, Australia
- Glenorchy Air, New Zealand
Accidents and incidentsEdit
On 14 July 2019, a GA8 Airvan of Skydive Umeå crashed on Storsandskär, Sweden, killing all nine people on board. Structural failure of a wing is suspected as a cause. The GA8 Airvan was grounded by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in Australia, Civil Aviation Authority in New Zealand, and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in the European Union. The grounding order was issued on 20 July and was due to run until 3 August, but was lifted early as CASA found there is no evidence for an unsafe condition, and the EASA said the wrecked aircraft had been exposed to aerodynamic loads beyond certification.
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)
- Cruise 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 (20,000 ft)
- Rate of climb: 4.00 m/s (788 ft/min)
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Kelly, Emma (1 March 2017). "Mahindra confident of imminent Airvan 10 certification". FlightGlobal. Reed Business Information. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
- "Purchase Planning Handbook" (PDF). Business & Commercial Aviation. Aviation Week Network. June 2019.
- Wallace, Lane (7 May 2005). "Flying Magazine, May 2005". Flyingmag.com. Retrieved 15 February 2011.
- "GA web site". Gippsaero.com. Archived from the original on 16 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-15.
- "GippsAero's GA10 project on track". Australian Flying. 3 March 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
- "GA News Media Archives". Gipps Aero. 6 May 2005. Archived from the original on 16 February 2011.
- "Mahindra floats US assembly for rebranded Airvan". Flightglobal. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- Cox, Lisa (21 July 2019). "More than 60 Australian-made planes grounded after fatal crash in Sweden". TheGuardian. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
- "MAF web-page". Maf.org.au. 5 May 2010. Retrieved 15 February 2011.
- "GippsAero". GippsAero. 18 March 2004. Archived from the original on 16 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-15.
- Westin, Adam; Tronarp, Gustaf; Jamshidi, Jamshid; Toll, Michael; Laneby, Sebastien (14 July 2019). "Flygplan har kraschat utanför Umeå – nio personer döda" [Aircraft has crashed near Umeå - nine people dead]. Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 19 July 2019.
- "CASA Australia and EASA ground GA-8 Airvan following a recent accident in Sweden". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
- "New Zealand authorities ground 21 planes after Sweden crash kills nine ". New Zealand Herald. 20 July 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
- Kate Sarsfield (29 July 2019). "Regulators lift Airvan 8 grounding". Flightglobal.
- Jackson 2003, p. 6.
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