GippsAero has announced two improvements to its GA8 design, an increased maximum takeoff weight, and a floatplane variant.
The increased MTOW, which covers both standard and turbocharged GA8 models, allows an increase in useful load by 91kg and has received CASA approval. All new Airvans from serial #163 onwards will be delivered with an increased MTOW, while existing Airvans can operate to the new weight after implementing a service bulletin, which is now available.
The MTOW approval came after a 10 month intensive development and testing program by the GippsAero engineering group in close consultation with CASA.
Meanwhile, GippsAero has also announced that it will develop a floatplane version of the GA8 TC-350 turbocharged Airvan in cooperation with aircraft float manufacturer Wipaire.
The project will see the two organisations cooperate for the design, construction and flight testing to certify the GA8 on Wipaire 3450 seaplane and amphibious floats via a supplemental type certificate (STC), with flight testing expected to begin in October this year.
The first 10 customers are being offered 50 per cent off the normal deposit for a GA8 Airvan on floats, with delivery in 2012.