GippsAero broke ground for construction of a new hangar for development of the GA18 utility twin turboprop, which is based on the former Government Aircraft Factories N24A Nomad. The new hangar was needed because the company’s existing facilities at Australia’s Latrobe Regional Airport aren’t large enough for the GA18. The new hangar will be used for final assembly and integration work for the initial production GA18s, according to GippsAero, which is owned by India’s Mahindra Aerospace.
Development of the 18-passenger GA18 continues, with first flight of the prototype planned for later this year and certification and entry into service in 2014. Certification will be to FAA Part 23, Amendment 62. Changes to the original Nomad include upgraded Rolls-Royce engines, a glass cockpit, new propellers and engineering changes to save weight.