Gippsland Aeronautics, Australia’s only commercial aircraft manufacturer, is developing a 10-seat turboprop version of its eight-seat, GA-8 Airvan piston single, which was certified by the Australian CAA in December 2000. The turboprop GA-10T Taska is part of a three-year joint research-and-development program of Gippsland and Helitech of Brisbane, Australia. This program also includes a GA-8 powered by a Textron Lycoming 310-hp IO-580 piston engine with fuel injection and direct drive, which the companies plan to fly later this year. The current GA-8 is powered by a 300-hp IO-540-K.
The main wing of both the GA-8 and GA-10T is based on the wing of the Gippsland
GA-200C agplane, but is high mounted and supported by a single strut on each side. The company reports orders for 25 GA-8s, which sell for about $310,000. Eight have been delivered to date. Gippsland intends to build 55 airplanes this year and increase production to 200 per year by 2007.