FAA Certification For PAC Flagship PAC 750XL
March 11, 2003
Pacific Aerospace Corporation Clinches FAA Certification For Its Flagship PAC 750XL
Hamilton-based Pacific Aerospace Corporation has received American Federal Aviation Administration certification for its flagship PAC 750XL aircraft.
The prestigious FAA certification, which was carried out under a bilateral agreement with the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand, was clinched after 18 months exhaustive testing. This entailed subjecting the PAC 750XL to 315 flights, 1000 spins and 2500 individual tests on top of 70,000 man-hours of design, manufacture and assembly - not to mention an investment of many millions of dollars.
When the CAA cleared the PAC 750XL for take-off last year, it had the distinction of being the first passenger aircraft to be designed and manufactured in New Zealand. It's also believed to be the first new aircraft built in the last 25 years specifically to target the burgeoning adventure skydiving market.
It is now the first New Zealand designed and built aircraft to receive FAA-type certification.
The growing popularity of international skydiving provided the impetus for PAC to design and build the PAC 750XL. The robust, multi-purpose aircraft can take 17 fully kitted skydivers to 3600 metres in 12 minutes. Its spacious interior, large exit door, safe jump platform and quick loading capability make it ideal for parachuting. First cleared for take-off in 2001, the first formal certification flight took place in January 2003. Pacific Aerospace Corporation achieved its target of completing flight-testing by March 31 - 100 years to the day since Kiwi aviator Richard Pearse took to the air in his bamboo monoplane. Pacific Aerospace Corporation's managing director Brian Hare says firm options for 260 of the PAC 750XL, in addition to the 18 already sold, supports the company's belief the plane is the best multi-purpose aircraft available.
"At around $NZ1.7 million ($US1 million) per aircraft, we are sitting on export orders in excess of $NZ440 million ($US250 million) over the next 10 years," says Hare. "Pacific Aerospace Corporation has plans to triple in size over the next three to five years to cope with worldwide demand. Total staffing will increase from 120 to over 250 by 2008 and a number of key subcontractors throughout New Zealand will also boost capacity."