Mumbai, Maharashtra, June 26, 2010 /India PRwire/ — The GA8-TC Airvan from GippsAero, one of Australia’s most reputed aircraft producers and a part of Mahindra Aerospace, landed today in the Garden City.
The Airvan is on a multiple mission. Its Australian pilots, Ken Evers and Tim Pryse are being supported by its manufacturer, GippsAero to prove the ruggedness and reliability of the single engine plane while simultaneously raising USD 1 million for the noble cause of increasing awareness about malaria. Mahindra Aerospace also views this unique initiative as an opportunity to strengthen trade and economic ties between India and Australia.
The plane took off from Bendigo, Australia on May 8 and will cover a total distance of 28,190 nm (nautical miles) before returning to Bendigo in July, making it the first Australian designed and manufactured aircraft to circumnavigate the globe. From Australia, the Airvan crossed American Samoa, Kiribati, Hawaii and California, before landing in Arizona where Mahindra Engineering Services (MES), a part of Mahindra Systech, has recently opened an office to service its Aero Industry clients.
GippsAero, one of Australia’s most reputed aircraft producers has a suite of similar products that cater to a range of general aviation requirements including crop dusting, disaster relief and cargo transport. The GA8 – TC and its stable mates carry FAR 23 certification which indicates the highest measure of safety allowing fare paying passengers to be ferried between small and remote airfields in full comfort and security. GippsAero’s family of products includes planes in the range of 2 to 16 seaters. Mahindra Aerospace has also acquired aero component manufacturing capability and is in the final stages of selecting a location to host India’s first private sector Aircraft OEM.
“It is a matter of pride for us that Mahindra is keenly evaluating the State of Karnataka for their proposed aerospace venture. We are delighted that Mahindra chose Bangalore as a destination for the historic landing of the Mahindra Gippsland G8 Airvan. On behalf of the citizens of Bengaluru, I would like to welcome Ken and Tim and wish them good luck for the rest of their journey” said Hon. Chief Secretary of Karnataka, Mr. S. V. Rangnath.
“It gives me great pride to see the GippsAero Airvan land in India in the course of this historic mission which I am sure will also help forge closer ties between India and Australia. With this flight, the Airvan has not only proved its airworthiness but Mahindra Aerospace has also left an indelible mark in the pages of aviation history,” said Mr. Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra Group.
“Mahindra Aerospace is delighted to be a part of this unique Indo-Australian initiative. In fact, we have a budding but steadily growing association with the Australian continent which is a strategic part of our aerospace ambitions. I am delighted to see Ken and Tim land the Airvan in Bengaluru and wish them the best of luck for the rest of their flight,” said Mr. Hemant Luthra, President, Mahindra Systech.
“We are thrilled to land in India and really appreciate the warm welcome we have received. Our mission is progressing well, in large part thanks to the Airvan which has proved itself as the ideal choice for a mission such as this. In fact, no other aircraft in its class can match the versatility, load carrying capacity or flight handling characteristics of the Airvan. The support extended to us by Mahindra has gone a long way in helping us fulfil our dream of circumnavigating the globe and we look forward to completing our mission,” said pilots, Ken Evers and Tim Pryse.
“We are proud that Gippsland Aeronautics Australia is now a part of the Mahindra family. We compliment Gippsland for supporting such a worthy cause. Besides demonstrating the strength of the aircraft, Ken and Tim are a shining example of the pioneering and adventurous spirit of all Australians. By undertaking this endeavour they have made their countrymen proud and I look forward to seeing them land safely in Australia next month. I am sure this pioneering effort by Mahindra will contribute to further strengthening of the India-Australia trading relationship.” said Mr. Peter Forby, Consul General and Trade Commissioner, Mumbai.
After taking off from Bengaluru, the aircraft will proceed to Vietnam, the Philippines and New Guinea before returning to Bendigo.