TYPE: Light utility transport.
PROGRAMME: Design completed and proof of concept prototype construction started early 1994; first flight 3 March 1995 (aircraft unregistered, but marked 'GA-8' on the fin): 186kW (250 hp) Textron Lycoming O-540; prototype destroyed 7 February 1996 during spinning trials: second airframe completed to major component stage for static testing; third airframe (also unmarked; 'AIRVAN" on fin; test registration; VH-ZGI not worn) was second flying prototype, first flown in August 1996 with an interim 224 kW (300 hp) Textron Lycoming IO-540K-1A5 engine and three-blade propeller, pending installation of intended (but temporarily discontinued) production standard IO-580 in 1997; total of 350 hours flight testing completed by two prototypes by November 1 °98: second prototype re-registered VH-XGA in January 1999. Provisional type certification obtained 10 March 1999, with full CASA certification to FAR Pt 23 Amendment 48 achieved 10 October 2000; subsequently upgraded to FAR Pt 23 Amendment 54 on 14 March 2003; this applicable to c/n 026 (VH-TGS) and upwards, but earlier aircraft are upgradable. First delivery (VH-RYT) to Air Fraser Island Air 22 December 2000. Initial export aircraft (seventh overall, c/n 008/V3-HGI) first flew 24 November 2001, and delivered to Maya Island Air of Belize in following month. International debut (VH-B JY) at Asian Aerospace show in Singapore February 2002 before delivery to distributor PT Airvan Dirgantara of Indonesia. Certification then being sought in Botswana, Canada, UK and USA. Total of 24 built by February 2003, when production rate was 20 per year, rising to 50 in 2005 and 400 by 2007, including aircraft manufactured under licence abroad.
CURRENT VERSIONS: GA8 Airvan: Initial production version; IO 540 engine. To be recertified subsequently with IO-580 and turbocharged TIO-540 for hot-and-high operations. Diesel version powered by Thielert TAE 135 turbo-diesel or Jabiru eight-cylinder diesel under study in early 2003.
GA1OT Taska: Projected stretched, 10-seat turboprop version to be powered by a 313 kW (420 shp) Rolls-Royce 250-B17F. Being studied in early 2002 as joint venture with Heliiech of Brisbane, aimed at paramilitary and special missions applications and to compete against Pacific Aerospace 750XL (which see in New Zealand section) for Australian Army requirement.
CUSTOMERS: Total of 48 sold by February 2003, including exports to Belize (Maya Island Air, two), Botswana, Canada, Indonesia (PT Airvan Dirgantara, six), Mozambique, New Zealand. South Africa (Airvan Africa, six) and USA (17). Australian customers include Air Fraser Island (one). Alligator Airways (two), Skydive Oz (one), Slingair (one) and Wrightsair (one). In November 2002, the US Civil Air Patrol ordered seven, with options on a further 25, for Homeland Defense missions, following a 14-sortie, 20-hour high-altitude evaluation of c/n 015/VH-MCN at Buena Vista and Leadville, Colorado, in August 2002 after the aircraft s North American debut at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in July. Negotiations under way in early 2003 for Pakistan Defence Force requirement for 25 aircraft, possibly for licensed manufacture and for Missionary Aviation Fellowship requirement in Northern Australia.
COSTS: AS638,000, plus tax (2003).
DESIGN FEATURES: Strut-braced high-wing monoplane with sweptback vertical tail and fixed tricycle landing gear; designed to operate from unprepared strips. Fin and rudder modified, and ventral finlet added on second prototype, late 1996. Wing aerofoil modified V-35; dihedral 2° 30'; incidence 2°; twist 1.6°.
FLYING CONTROLS: Conventional and manual. Trimmable tailplane, deflections + 2 7 - 5 ° ; slotted flaps, deflections 14 and 38". Elevator deflections +157—19°; ailerons +177-16°; rudder ±21°.
STRUCTURE: Light alloy; two-spar wing based on GA200 Fatman unit; composites cowlings and fairings; entire structure designed for easy manufacture, maintenance and repair.
LANDING GEAR: Non-retractable tricycle type; single-piece tubular spring main gear, steerable steel spring/oleo nose leg; Parker hydraulic disc brakes; mainwheels 8.50-6 (6 ply); nosewheel 6.00-6 (6 ply). Wipline float installation under development in Canada.
POWER PLANT: One 224 kW (300 hp) Textron Lycoming IO-540-K1A5 flat-six engine driving a two-blade Hartzell HC-2YR-1BF/F8475R constant-speed propeller. Fuel capacity 340 litres (89.8 US gallons; 74.8 Imp gallons) in two wing tanks, of which 332 litres (87.7 US gallons; 73.0 Imp gallons) usable. Oil capacity 11 litres (3.0 US gallons; 2.5 Imp gallons).
ACCOMMODATION: Pilot and up to seven passengers or equivalent cargo; full FAR Pt 23.562 compliant crashworfhy seats. Amsafe seatbelt airbags under development in early 2003. Crew door each side of flight deck; flight openable forward-sliding cargo door on port side aft of wing. Cabin is heated and ventilated. Baggage compartment, with security net, at rear of cabin. Ventral cargo pod, volume 0.51 m3 (18.0 cu ft) under development in 2003.
SYSTEMS: Split bus electrical system powered by 14 V 95 A engine-driven alternator. Maintenance-free sealed battery and external power receptacle with overvolt protection standard.
AVIONICS: Standard Bendix/King avionics suite. Comtns: Dual KY 97A-61 VHF; KT 76A-12 transponder; Barrett F24 control panel and TX4400 intercom; pilot's yoke-mounted PTT switch; pilot's and co-pilot's headsets and microphone jacks. Flight: KR 87 ADF; altitude encoder. Instrumentation: KMD 150 moving map with 102 x 76 mm ( 4 x 3 in) display, airspeed indicator, artificial horizon, altimeter with hectoPascal subscale, electric turn co-ordinator, directional gyro, vertical speed indicator, OAT gauge, magnetic compass, electronic digital fuel flow and totaliser gauge EGT gauge tachometer, fuel supply gauge, oil temperature/pressure gauges, CHT gauge, and manifold pressure gauge.
EQUIPMENT: Standard equipment includes automatic fuel management system, windscreen demisting, instrument panel lighting, avionics dimming, map and cabin reading lights, navigation lights, dual landing/taxying lights, low-profile red beacon light.1,, pilot's and co-pilot's five-point inertia reel shoulder harnesses; six three-point inertia reel harnesses for passengers; cabin soundproofing; and entrance step.
|Wing span||12.28 m (40 ft 33/4 in)|
|Wing chord, constant||1.60 m (5 ft 3 in)|
|Wing aspect ratio||7.9|
|Length overall||8.95 m (29 ft 43/4 in)|
|Fuselage max width||1.37 m (4 ft 6 in)|
|Height overall||3.89 m (12 ft 9 in)|
|Tailplane span||4.17 m (13 ft 8 in)|
|Wheel track||2.79 m (9 ft 2 in)|
|Wheelbase||2.30 m (7 ft 61/2 in)|
|Cargo/passenger door: - Height||1.08 m (3 ft 61/2 in)|
|- Width||1.07 m (3 ft 6 in)|
|- Height to sill||0.85 m (2 ft 91/2 in)|
|Propeller diameter||2.13 m (7 ft 0 in)|
|DIMENSIONS, INTERNAL :|
|Cabin: Length, incl flight deck||4.01 m (13 ft 2 in)|
|- Max width||1.27 m (4 ft 2 in)|
|- Max height||1.19 m (3 ft 11 in)|
|Floor area: incl flight deck||5.02 m2 (54.0 sq ft)|
|- exel flight deck||3.44 m2 (37.0 sq ft)|
|Volume, incl flight deck||5.1 m3 (180 cu ft)|
|Wings, gross||19.32 m2 (208.0 sq ft)|
|Ailerons (total)||0.80 m2 (8.60 sq ft)|
|Trailing-edge flaps (total)||0.80 m2 (8.60 sq ft)|
|Fin||1.35 m2 (14.50 sq ft)|
|Rudder||0.73 m2 (7.90 sq ft)|
|Tailplane||2.41 m2 (25.90 sq ft)|
|Elevators (total)||1.76 m2 (18.90 sq ft)|
|WEIGHTS AND LOADINGS :|
|Weight empty||997 kg (2,198 lb)|
|Baggage capacity: - shelf||113 kg (249 lb)|
|- aft bin||22 kg (49 lb)|
|Cargo pod capacity||180 kg (397 lb)|
|Max fuel||270 kg (595 lb)|
|Max T-O and landing weight:|
|initial certification||1,814 kg (4,000 lb)|
|target||1,905 kg (4,200 lb)|
|Max wing loading:|
|initial certification||93.9 kg/m2 (19.23 lb/sq ft)|
|target||98.6 kg/m2 (20.19 lb/sq ft)|
|Max power loading:|
|first prototype||9.74 kg/kW (16.00 lb/hp)|
|initial certification||8.12 kg/kW (13.33 lb/hp)|
|target||8.52 kg/kW (14.00 lb/hp)|
|Never-exceed speed ( VNE )||185 kt (342 km/h; 212 mph)|
|Normal cruising speed||121 kt (224 km/h; 139 mph)|
|Econ cruising speed||104 kt (193 km/h; 120 mph)|
|Stalling speed: flaps up||60 kt (112 km/h; 69 mph)|
|flaps down||52 kt (97 km/h; 60 mph)|
|Max rate of climb at S/L||241 m (790 ft)/min|
|Service ceiling, estimated||6,100 m (20,000 ft)|
|T-O run||305 m (1,000 ft)|
|T-O to 15 m (50 ft)||549 m (1,800 ft)|
|Landing from 15 m (50 ft)||366 m (1,200 ft)|
|Landing run||396 m (1,299 ft)|
|Range with max fuel:|
|normal cruise||730 n miles (1,352 km; 840 miles)|
|econ cruise||930 n miles (1,722 km; 1,070 miles)|
|Endurance at econ cruise, no reserves||6 h|