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Pacific Aerospace makes major push into Mexico and South America

posted Jul 14, 2010, 11:45 PM by Rowan Hewitt   [ updated Jul 14, 2010, 11:49 PM ]

By Leithen Francis


New Zealand aircraft-maker Pacific Aerospace has received regulatory approval from Mexico for its P-750 XSTOL single turboprop and has applied for approval from Colombia.

"We have received type approval from Mexico and towards the end of July we will deliver the first aircraft," says Pacific chief executive Damian Camp, who declines to name the customer.

He says the firm order is for one aircraft and, based on the requested configuration, the aircraft will be used for passenger and freight operations.

Camp says the P-750 is "close to receiving type approval from Colombia" and that Pacific Aerospace's agent in South America is confident of securing a customer there soon.

© Pacific Aerospace


The P-750 already has US Federal Aviation Administration Part 23 certification, but potential customers want to see that the aircraft has local approval, says Camp.

Pacific Aerospace has also been busy promoting the P-750 in response to a draft request for proposals for the US Air Force's contract for fixed-wing light mobility aircraft to be supplied to the Afghan national army air corps.

Pacific Aerospace and its US partner L-3 Communications presented a P-750 to several US air bases in May. The two parties our now waiting for the formal tender to be issued. The P-750 will be competing against the Cessna Caravan and the EADS Casa C-212.



Camp says Pacific Aerospace is also lobbying New Zealand's defence minister Wayne Mapp to include the P-750 in the country's defence White Paper to be released in September.

The New Zealand air force already uses the two-seat Pacific Aerospace CT-4 as a training aircraft. But Camp is hoping the air force will buy 10-seat P-750s and use these as transports in New Zealand and the South Pacific.

Camp says an eighth P-750 is soon to be delivered to Papua New Guinea and that they recently received regulatory approval to install wider tyres on the aircraft as an option. This increases the footprint by 40% and helps with landing and taking off from boggy unpaved surfaces, he adds. The aircraft-maker says the P-750 can take off and land on unpaved runways less than 245m (800ft) long.

 

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