Aircraft Review

March 2012 Issue

Gippsland GA8TC: Flies Sweet, Hauls a Lot

A turbo model is more for high density altitude than speed, but the airplane excels in the combined cargo/freight role.

The heavy-hauler aircraft niche is such a sub-specialty that not many dedicated models exist, with Cessna’s Caravan being the most obvious success story. Piper’s Saratoga and the 200 series from Cessna qualify, but none are devoted purely to the lots-of-people or the lots-of-boxes role. That certainly can’t be said of the Gippsland Aeronautics GA-8 Airvan, an aircraft that’s unabashedly devoted to hauling stuff. A lot of stuff. We were first introduced to the Airvan 10 years ago, just after it appeared as what we might now call the leading edge of the world or international airplane. Built in Australia, the model hasn’t been a huge seller, but with about 170-plus flying, it’s gained a foothold.

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