Say goodbye to the Gipps imprimatur on its line of general aviation aircraft. India’s Mahindra Aerospace, which bought Australia-based GippsAero in 2009, is renaming its piston GA8 single the Airvan 8 and its under-development turboprop-single GA10 the Airvan 10. Mahindra also announced yesterday at EAA AirVenture that the Airvan 8 would be available on optional Wipline amphibious aluminum floats by year-end and that it is now taking nonrefundable deposits on the Airvan 10. It said it expects Airvan 10 certification in 2015.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) chose Mahindra Aerospace’s GippsAero GA8 Airvan in a competitive bidding process for an airborne surveillance aircraft. The CHP currently flies 26 aircraft, including some Cessna 206s that have logged more than 10,000 hours. According to Gary Standel, president of West Coast Aircraft Sales (WCAS), the CHP selected the GA8 because “we were the lowest-cost bidder able to be fully compliant with bid requirements.” WCAS specializes in ISR-configured solutions and is the western U.S. Airvan distributor. Paravion Technology of Ft.
Lighting manufacturer Luma Technologies (Booth 3018) announced progress on several fronts at EBACE 2014. The Bellevue, Washington-based company focuses on design and manufacture of lighted products using LED and other solid-state technologies. These include caution-warning systems and display panels, switches, annunciators, integrated gear levers and other electro-mechanical controls.
GippsAero, the Australia-based aircraft manufacturer owned by India’s Mahindra Aerospace, introduced a new executive interior option for its seven-seat GA8 Airvan today at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. One of the two Airvans it is displaying this week at the show has the executive cabin option.
GippsAero’s beefy boxcar of an airplane may look ungainly, but once you climb in and fire up its 320-hp turbocharged Lycoming TIO-540, pull the flaps lever all the way up and push the throttle to 40 inches of manifold pressure, the big single leaps forward and soars into the sky where it belongs.
India’s Mahindra Aerospace inaugurated a 270,000-sq-ft aerostructures manufacturing plant last week at the Narsapura Industrial Estate near Bangalore. The plant opening accompanied an announcement by Mahindra that it signed a technology partnership agreement with Spanish Tier 1 supplier Aernnova Group, the first for Aernnova with an Indian aerostructures manufacturer.
Though largely overshadowed by a heavy military presence, the business aviation sector made its voice heard at last month’s Aero India show in Bangalore (February 6 to 10). Serious obstacles continue to stand in the way of those trying to fulfill bizav’s undoubted potential in this vast emerging market (see box), but this has not deterred the major manufacturers from increasing their presence in India.
Mahindra Aerospace, currently India’s only manufacturer of light aircraft for private/utility use, is preparing to open its new 270,000-sq-ft facility near Bangalore. This will be used for manufacturing metal components, aircraft assemblies and aerostructures, according to executive director and global CEO Arvind Mehra.