The Mahindra GippsAero GA8 TC 320 Airvan which successfully circumnavigated the globe last year, made its maiden landing in Mumbai earlier this week. The aircraft recently received an enthusiastic response from potential customers, suppliers and visitors to Aero India 2011 who appreciated its low maintenance platform, strength and ruggedness.
“We are absolutely delighted to bring the Airvan to Mumbai after its successful showing in Bangalore where it was the centrepiece of the Mahindra Aerospace exhibit. The Airvan is a unique 8-seat multi-role aircraft that can readily be converted to carry freight or passengers. Its global clientele find the aircraft ideal for a variety of operations including humanitarian relief, charter, tourism, medevac, aerosports (parajumping), surveillance, freight and training,” said Mr. Arvind Mehra, Executive Director and CEO, Mahindra Aerospace Private Limited.
The Airvan flies for malaria awareness
This ‘plane with a heart’ created history last year as it became the first Australian designed and manufactured aircraft to fly around the world to raise funds for malaria awareness. This pioneering flight was a clear validation of the toughness and reliability of the single engine plane. The Aircraft was piloted by Australian pilots, Ken Evers and Tim Pryse who took off from Bendigo Australia on May 8, 2010, flying over several malaria endemic countries, before returning to Bendigo on July 8, 2010. En route, the Airvan stopped at Arizona, USA, where its landing coincided with the inauguration of Mahindra Engineering Services’ brand new office. It also touched down in India’s aviation hub – Bangalore.
This unique aviation feat recently made it to the Earthrounders Website, a register of pilots who have flown around the world in light aircraft. Durable, sturdy and versatile The Airvan is a unique 8-seat multi-role aircraft that can readily be converted to carry freight or passengers. Its global clientele find the aircraft ideal for a variety of operations including humanitarian relief, charter, tourism, medevac, aerosports (parajumping), surveillance, freight, and training.
With robust metallic construction and powered by the reliable Lycoming family of engines, the Airvan is available in either normally-aspirated or turbocharged variants. Both models offer unbeatable costs per seat-mile, ensuring an economical, low maintenance and reliable operations platform. Several GA8 TC-320 Airvans have already been delivered to customers in Australia and New Zealand.
From the tarmac and the high seas to the skies
Since 1945, Mahindra has established a reputation as a people mover with a presence in almost every segment of the transport eco-system. From Power Boats to Power Scooters, Mahindra helps India stay on the move. But the Group’s ambitions were not restricted to tarmac or the high seas alone. In December 2009, it announced plans to foray into the aerospace segment with the acquisition of two Australian aviation companies. Aerostaff Australia is a Melbourne based manufacturer of precision sheet metal parts and assemblies for the global aerospace and defence industries, while GippsAero Pty Ltd. is a manufacturer of utility aircraft.
This move signalled Mahindra’s strategic entry into the global aerospace components and general aviation markets. Mahindra, the tractor-jeep-truck-boat manufacturer, was now all set to conquer the skies….
Having completed the acquisition of the two Australian companies, Mahindra Aerospace Pvt. Ltd. (MAPL) is now in consolidation and build-up mode. The company is currently making substantial investments in its Australian facility – to ramp up production capacities for the GA8 in order to meet market demand and to invest in new products and derivatives to expand its aircraft portfolio.
MAPL’s priority is to consolidate its achievements and build a strong foundation for itself in the global aerospace industry. This is necessary to accomplish strategic plans – commission the new Indian facility and quickly move up the value chain in aerostructures, as well as complete development and commercially launch new aircraft models in the pipeline.
As far as the aerostructures business is concerned, MAPL aims to establish itself as Tier-1 supplier to large aircraft OEMs. On the aircraft side of the business, the company wishes to become globally recognised as a manufacturer of cost-effective, efficient and robust utility aircraft, producing and supporting a portfolio of four to six aircraft models.