Australia’s Gippsland Aeronautics is receiving a $20 million infusion from its new owner, India’s Mahindra Group, to develop a 10-seat variant of its GA8 Airvan and launch the new 18-seat GA18 turboprop (formerly the Nomad). Mahindra has already invested $2 million to expand Gippsland’s business domestically, and the company plans to first complete the 10-seat GA10 and then focus on the GA18.
Gippsland purchased the certification authority for the GA18 from Boeing Australia Limited in June 2008. The certification authority included technical and spares sales support and all intellectual property for the aircraft worldwide. The GA18 will be powered by twin Rolls-Royce 250-B17F turboprops and offer modern glass-panel avionics.
The GA10 will be a stretched version of the popular GA8, and will be powered by the same Rolls-Royce turboprop (with different dash numbers) as the GA18. The GA8 has proven popular for missionary work in the south Pacific, owing to its load-carrying ability and short/soft field capability. Gippsland spokesman John Willis said the GA10 would be priced below the Cessna Caravan and Quest Kodiak utility turboprops.