Royal visit to local aircraft factory
During his visit to Pacific Aerospace last month, Prince William the Duke of Cambridge unveiled what is claimed to be the world’s most versatile aircraft. Pacific Aerospace has been developing the latest model of its P-750 XSTOL over the last 18 months.
"The Mark III P-750 has taken a lot of effort from our design engineers and production staff to bring to market and the hard work has paid off," says CEO Damian Camp.
"We have developed a quick-change floor arrangement and easily removable role equipment that allow the aircraft to be transformed rapidly between no fewer than 10 distinct mission configurations."
Those different configurations include passenger, freight, agriculture (solid and liquid), firefighting, survey (geophysical and photographic), medical evacuation, skydiving and security surveillance.
"A commercial aircraft operator’s success is reliant on how many hours it flies per year. By taking on a range of different work with a single aircraft the operator can maximise hours flown and make more money. An operator can now do a four-month aerial survey contract, immediately change to an agricultural contract and follow up with charter passenger or freight work. All other aircraft types are generally fixed in a single configuration and have minimal versatility."
Shangdong General Aviation in China will take delivery of the first of three Mark III P-750s this month.
The Duke of Cambridge enjoyed his visit to Pacific Aerospace and was particularly interested in the Mark III P-750 and the humanitarian work that the P-750 does in Papua New Guinea, Africa and Nepal.
"I’m sure that our unique combination of humanitarian work, innovation and aviation was of real interest to the Duke," said Mr Camp.
"We believe that these are three topics that he is keenly interested in, particularly with his piloting background. We also showed him photos of his father and grandfather inspecting Pacific Aerospace aircraft as young men."
-Report by John King, photograph by Woolf-Crown Photography
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