ABACE Convention News

First China Delivery Set for Kodiak Bush Plane

 - April 17, 2013, 10:00 PM

The Kodiaks are coming. At a ceremony at ABACE 2013 on Tuesday, Beijing General Aviation Industry Base Investment Holding Co. (BGA) signed a contract for delivery of two Quest Kodiaks with options for four additional aircraft from Blue Eagle Aviation Investment Co. of Beijing, exclusive distributor in Greater China for the single-engine turbine powered utility aircraft. Made by Quest Aircraft of Sandpoint, Idaho, these would be the first Kodiaks delivered in China.

“We’re very happy to get the first order in China,” said Alex Li, president of Blue Eagle Aviation. “We’re very, very confident about this aircraft. The market is huge for aircraft for special missions, charter, aerial mapping” and other utility missions.

The Kodiaks, rugged short takeoff and landing (Stol) aircraft, will be based at Badalin Airport, near Beijing, and initially used for emergency disaster assistance, said Liu Mingde, BGA’s director of sales. “The advantage of the Kodiak is its large payload, long range and fast speed, which makes it the best choice for emergency rescue and assistance,” said Liu.

The first aircraft will be delivered following its certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China, expected this summer, with the second delivery to follow about six months later. The agreement also calls for Blue Eagle to provide BGA with aftermarket support, including maintenance, modification and training for the aircraft. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

At the signing ceremony, Li told AIN he anticipates announcing an additional five sales to operators in Greater China next month.

Unique Applications

The 10-place utility-category Kodiak, powered by a single Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34turbine engine, is designed for operations on unimproved fields in remote locations, and can operate on straight or amphibious floats without airframe modification. Additional mission capabilities include cargo transport, power line and pipeline patrol, agricultural operations such as crop dusting, aerial photography and aerial tours.

At its gross weight of 7,305 pounds (3,320 kg) at sea level in standard conditions, the Kodiak can take off in less than 1,000 feet and climb at more than 1,300 feet (396 meters) per minute. A Garmin G1000 integrated avionics suite with synthetic vision is standard equipment.

Although the aircraft was designed for work in rugged areas, it can also serve as executive transport. Last week at the Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In and Expo in Lakeland, Florida, Quest announced certification of two enhanced interior options for the Kodiak, the Tundra and the Timberline, the latter intended for executive transport. The interior upgrades include replacement of Kydex panels with lighter composite material, increasing the useful load of the Kodiak, as well as enhanced soundproofing and a redesigned headliner giving the cabin a more spacious feeling.o