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Fri, Aug 08, 2003

Gippsland Aero Still Making a Strong Impression

By ANN Correspondent Kevin "Hognose" O'Brien

As we've previously reported, here at Aero-News we're big fans of the Gippsland GA-8 Airvan.

It's as big and bold as its homeland of Australia, the veritable Crocodile Dundee of piston airplanes. It's simple, honest flying (they tell us - we haven't gotten the controls yet) and beats a Cessna 206 by just about every measure, including price.

D'oh!

While Gippsland Aero did have a generic GA-8 in their booth, the one that made the best impression was this GA-8 in Civil Air Patrol livery. (It also helped offset the creepy Ashcroftjugend  impression that the CAP gives by marching a bunch of kids around in uniforms. Of course, AirVenture depends on the volunteer efforts of those uniformed kids, so I probably should be grateful rather than snide).

The GA-8 is ideally suited to transport missions in remote places. (We sure could have used them in Afghanistan, where they'd have been far more dependable than helicopters, at much less expense to the taxpayers). The designers considered maintainability in every stage of manufacture, and there is no part of the GA-8 airframe that can't be made by any half-decent A&P (or village smith, if it came to that) out of sheet metal or steel tubing.

Did I mention that we like it?

FMI: http://www.gippsaero.com, www.airvanusa.com

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