Gippsland GA8 Airvan

The Gippsland GA8 Airvan is a single-engined utility aircraft manufactured by Gippsland Aeronautics of Victoria, Australia. Strut-braced high-wing monoplane with sweptback vertical tail and fixed tricycle landing gear; designed to operate from unprepared strips. The Airvan is offered in two versions – The 300 horsepower normally aspirated GA8 and the turbocharged GA8-TC 320.

Developing nation:  Australia
Manufacturer/designer:
Gippsland Aeronautics
Production lines: Victoria, Australia
First flight: 3 March 1995
Certification: 10 March 1999
First delivery: (VH-RYT) to Air Fraser Island Air 22 December 2000

The first flight was at March 3 1995,unfortunately the prototype subsequently crashed during spinning trials in February 1996, pushing back somewhat the planned certification and entry into service dates.

The GA8 Airvan is developed to handle the gruelling conditions of the Australian landscape, the Airvan is ideal for operators in remote areas. The Airvan’s high lift wing, rugged all spring-steel undercarriage (no oleos to go flat), high flotation tyres and excellent propeller ground clearance equip the Airvan to operate happily from short semi prepared primitive airstrips.

The Airvan is perfectly suited as a standoff, all-weather surveillance, reconnaissance, and patrol aircraft law enforcement missions. Certified installations of High Resolution Imaging systems are in daily use on Airvan aircraft.

September 2011, at least 159 Airvans had been produced and delivered.

General characteristics

  • 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 constand speed propeller

Performance

  • 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)

All pictures courtesy of Zijde Aviation Photo and Publishing, Rob Vogelaar.