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What has happened to the Mahindra Airvan?

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What has happened to the Mahindra Airvan?

Old 29th Aug 2022, 05:58
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Question What has happened to the Mahindra Airvan?

There were claims that the Mahindra Airvan had stopped manufacture because of COVID, however the COVID crisis is now more controlled.

I havenít heard whether production is going to be recommenced. Does anyone have any information on this?

It seems such a tremendous aeroplane. It is a real pity that it is not available and people are not being employed in the manufacture.

Does anyone have the latest information?
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Old 29th Aug 2022, 10:25
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Shut down in full Dick. Mahindra indicated no plans to reopen the production line. Parts and service still operates to support the existing Airvan 8 fleet. The business was put up for sale but no takers I guess.
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Old 29th Aug 2022, 21:43
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Agreed. I have wondered what has happened to the G-Van?
I see a few still flying daily around the country, so it must be a good workhorse!
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Old 29th Aug 2022, 22:34
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There were floats tested on the GA-8. I think Wipaire ran the tests using their kit.

Mahindra had an order book for GA-8's so there was some demand out there.They sold quite a few so it must be a a good machine for utility and tourism work?
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Old 30th Aug 2022, 07:42
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Agreed awesome aircraft

Second hand info only but apparently quite a few suitors.

some effort being made (and sincerely hope) that production will remain and resume in Australia.

the Airvan is an outstanding platform for the planned turboprop growth variant AND a modified Nomad (empennage and engine improvements) would be a great addition to the family.
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Old 30th Aug 2022, 10:08
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Still nothing comparible to the GA8 available and the second hand market for them is strong so certainly a demand for production. The GA10 was never going to compete with the second hand caravan market, not with its weights and limited cycle engine. Hopefully the GA8 production line gets picked up and started.

Last edited by Konev; 31st Aug 2022 at 10:43.
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Old 15th Sep 2022, 03:24
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Ok I'll bite,

It is interesting to see the rumor mill is grinding still, but not always producing the finest or most accurate of information, but it is heartening to see support for the Airvan bubbling within the industry and its environs.

A few incorrect/inaccurate statements precede this post, and although maybe some have good interests at heart, it is best to know what the facts are prior to making such statements regarding events or issues.

The OP asked for Information, so I will stick to known and supportable, accurate information I have been told and not be speculative, or on the other hand, not, this IS a rumor network after all, however in the interests of maintaining a faÁade of reality, facts are more reliable than opinions, usually.

260 Airvans manufactured and sold, over 50% exported, the vast preponderance of which are still in daily operations in 25 or so countries around the world, and with a strong and active overseas second hand sales market indicating that a demand for new aircraft must therefore be idling, awaiting a re-emergence of this very successful Australian designed and manufactured product under a new ownership.

Gipps has been actively supporting this global customer fleet with parts and documentation on a daily basis since series airframe production was placed in hiatus in 2020. Many other product enhancement, engineering, component life extension and R&D projects have been successfully completed in the interim, so there is more than meets the eye (on PPRuNe) that is going on behind the (oft times) closed hangar doors. Roll on summertime, and another La Nina

No significant media releases or public announcements have been made that reflect the status of GippsAero and when is intended to recommence production. Many of us in the industry await news of such. Clearly it's hibernating, not dead. (listen to the distant snoring of rivet guns).

Maybe someone needs to remind the folks at GA that the information vacuum surrounding this enterprise, especially here in Oz, is not always a helpful thing. maybe someone will.

HD2


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Old 15th Sep 2022, 10:05
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Plans to resurrect the Nomad N-24 as a modern day aircraft with improved engine and avionics never appeared to progress much past wishful thinking.
And I have heard more than one person heave a sigh of relief about that!

The same people also mentioned that it would have been a better 'thought bubble' if they had considered building something like an updated Chieftain, or a C402 etc etc.

As for whether or not such an aircraft would be viable I have no idea.
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Old 15th Sep 2022, 11:17
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And I have heard more than one person heave a sigh of relief about that!

Leaving the ADF agenda aside, some operators who used the Type in appropriate ways were very much of the view that the only replacement for a Gonad was another Gonad.
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Old 15th Sep 2022, 23:27
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John Tullamarine wrote:

"Leaving the ADF agenda aside, some operators who used the Type in appropriate ways were very much of the view that the only replacement for a Gonad was another Gonad."

I can only agree. two points there, with common theme.

ADF agenda is best not discussed as it will spin into outrage and egregious claims I fear, suffice to say it was not based cleanly and clearly on facts, only on the veneer of facts that suited the ambitions of a noisy few.

There are still operators of the Nomad, especially the N24, who hold strong positive support and who wished Gipps well in any future venture to place this type back into production, however unlikely that may appear at this time. it is a proven product with a very good service history, despite the cultural cringe that exists here in Aus, typified by Pinky the Pilot's post full of uninformed opinions (perhaps not his own original thoughts) and speculations about what Gipps should have been doing, like manufacturing cessnas or chieftains, even though he purports no logical explanation as to why this would be of benefit to anyone.

Gipps, over many years and a couple of ownership variations, designed, tested and STC'd a spar ;ife extension modification that essentially doubled the service life of the Navajo/Chieftain here in Australia and successfully supported the owners and operators of the type to realize ongoing profits from this worthy platform. there are (were?) elements of this product included in the original Airvan, as well as several, even many design elements of Piper family provenance that were influential in the Airvan deign, and even more so in its predecessor the GA200 'Fat Man' (Vale P.E. Buckley). The Gippsland Aeronautics crew when the enterprise was but a small gathering of LAMES, AMES and enthusiasts recognized the opportunity to develop an enhanced aircraft , conventional in design and construction, based on the best practices and innovations, but trying to eliminate the worst, the most complicated and difficult to maintain aspects of the existing fleet. This is why the Airvan family has been very successful here and in the rest of world, and why, given the opportunity, a Gipps manufactured Nomad would be a winner, as it would likely receive a once over to address some of the niggles that some Nomad operators report.

The N24, in general terms, will carry a little bit more than a Caravan, a little faster than a Caravan, using a little less fuel than a Caravan, but its a TWIN, so the special conditions that apply to the Caravan (being a single engine aircraft) do not apply to the Nomad.

I urge Pinky and others to please resist the urge to turn this into a Nomad bashing thread, that has been done to death in many other efforts to unfairly denigrate and tarnish what was and is a sound aircraft with an overall very safe history. A reliable and economical aircraft that served most of its end users in the manner it was intended.

I am keen to see Gipps rise from the ashes, get the Airvan back on the production line, as the company has indicated it will be happy to do under new stewardship. One Australian entrepreneur would be sufficient to refund and re-energize this company and get some fair dinkum Australian know how back to work, designing, building and exporting the product around the world again. If what ONE Australian miner spent on the last election campaign, with no benefit to any anyone, or even a quarter of that, had been invested on this opportunity there would be hundreds of Australian aviation industry jobs back in work, supporting their local state and national economies. Getting Australian families invested in aviation and providing a future to some of those who can bring some common sense into the latest hype-world of AAM.

HD2



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Old 15th Sep 2022, 23:37
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The N24, in general terms, will carry a little bit more than a Caravan,

If I recall correctly, during my last sojourn at Nomad, I read a report which indicated that the Nomad was head and shoulders above the remainder on the basis of payload/gross weight. That may have been a DJP-authored document, I suspect ?
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Old 16th Sep 2022, 00:04
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Originally Posted by john_tullamarine View Post
The N24, in general terms, will carry a little bit more than a Caravan,

If I recall correctly, during my last sojourn at Nomad, I read a report which indicated that the Nomad was head and shoulders above the remainder on the basis of payload/gross weight. That may have been a DJP-authored document, I suspect ?
At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter, does it? The Nomad doesn't exist and neither does the GA-8 at the moment.

Unfortunately, we no longer live in a little post-war bubble and whatever this country produces needs to be competitive on the WORLD stage - not just the Aussie one. That means designing and building something people will actually buy - not just talk about. The GA-8 could be the best in it's class, but if the class don't know about it they'll buy something else - like a Cessna Caravan or a Cessna Skycourier (or a Kodiak if they must). It requires an enormous investment in time and capital (design, testing, certification, marketing) to produce a new aircraft - even an existing one - and even more if the market your targeting is already full. It would seem Mahindra didn't think it was worth the pain in the long run.

As I understand it, the GA-8 isn't in production simply because: Why would anyone buy Version 1.0 from Gipps when they can buy Version 2.0 from Textron?
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Old 16th Sep 2022, 02:04
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Piper Cameron…that is exactly the attitude that has undermined production in Australia for decades.

It’s outdated and harms us. ‘Australian cars aren’t any good, can’t compete so let’s stop making them’!

How about making them better so they can compete? Some with political agendas use the outdated argument that unions are too powerful to permit production success in Oz. Really not an issue anymore and further bypassed by production automation improvements.

With that thinking all we are destined to is simply export dirt to make money.

Both the Nomad and the G8 saw a global need (not just Australian) for a simple utility aircraft. And the G8 was/IS successful globally.

The Nomad apparently suffered from the wrong engine and a couple of design issues but nothing insurmountable. Fix those and it’s a winner. The simple fuselage design, field maintenance abilities and rugged construction aren’t just needed in Australia. US operators love the Airvan and both designs are perfect for Africa, South America, Indonesia and many other locales where complex aircraft are impractical.

Just look at Pilatus as an example of how small, non U.S./UK companies can hit a niche and be very prosperous. There are others (SAAB, Embraer etc).

The Textron SkyCourier sure looks like a specced-up complex Nomad to me. It will be successful because it’s probably a good aircraft. With sensible planning that could easily have been Nomad MkII. However the SkyCourier is expensive. An updated Nomad should be able to fill many of the same mission requirements at a lower cost to the SkyCourier.

But what our aircraft most suffer from is that damned old attitude. If it’s not British or American it’s no good and us colonials could never possibly hope to compete. And why the hell it took Mahindra to invest in GA is beyond me, it was never really a seamless match.

With some savvy backing and committed, intelligent marketing, both aircraft can still be absolute winners. There is a synergy between the designs and a massive emerging market. For a canny investor it’s actually a simple way to enter the market, the bulk of hard work has been done, no need to waste precious resources on design, tooling, testing, government approval etc, it’s all there done and ready to go.

A great example of this is Albatross G-111T being put into production in the NT.
Friggin’ awesome.
They’ve seen a niche, got the rights to a brilliant aircraft and off they go. And the NT Government is helping (not hindering, as governments so often do) which is hopefully a harbinger of change.

https://nt.gov.au/news/2022/new-terr...of-first-plane

Free-trade arrangements Australia has recently organised will also really help from a marketing standpoint.

We have clever and committed folks in the aviation sector here, and with committed and patriotic investors the likes of Twiggy Forrest, Mike Cannon-Brookes etc (who seem to be very ‘buy-local’ oriented) but first we need to lose that damned outdated attitude now.
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Old 16th Sep 2022, 03:36
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How about making them better so they can compete?

I recall a lecture by Stan Schatzel, going back a long ways now, where he observed that Australia had the people, the skills and the resources, to design and produce aircraft in the 30-seat size range. I suspect that things haven't changed all that significantly in the past 50-odd years.

There have been more than a few successful aircraft in the civil side of things, Victa, AirTruk, Gippy's several, and so on. Nomad started out as a military fill-in which was both useful and damaging. Dirty tricks often played out to defeat good intent. For instance, the Airtourer was very effectively muscled out of the game by the US manufacturers playing dirty tricks in the Australian market during the 60s/70s. No different to the sort of things we see in the airline game in recent years ...
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Old 16th Sep 2022, 03:43
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[QUOTE=PiperCameron; As I understand it, the GA-8 isn't in production simply because: Why would anyone buy Version 1.0 from Gipps when they can buy Version 2.0 from Textron?[/QUOTE]


You do not understand it simples.

As some others here have done, make statements that are not fact based, just cultural cringe.

HD2


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Old 16th Sep 2022, 03:59
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I agree the pro and con arguments on the Nomad have been done to death on this site over the years. I must add that I always supported the Nomad and flew three versions over a fourteen-month period without any problems. It needed tweaking in a few areas and had great potential but suffered from the Australian habit of knocking anything local.

I always thought the Airvan was really going to take-off but again it needed support to break deeper into the market.

I remember talking to a couple of Airvan pilots in Alaska (Civil Air Patrol) who raved about them.

Last edited by By George; 16th Sep 2022 at 08:05. Reason: spelling
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Old 16th Sep 2022, 12:09
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Yep I’m one of those JT
we were the first (civil or military) to operate the N22B based in Wewak.
Did a great job carrying supplies for US MAF into the jungle strips over the border for 6 months in ‘76 after the earthquake
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Old 16th Sep 2022, 13:07
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Here goes. I worked in the field of engineering for the Kennet Government and was privileged to interview a lot of engineering company owners. I have also worked in an airline and defence/aerospace.

We have ONE big problem and then a few little ones.

The GA 8 and the Nomad variant should be wildly successful. Our car industry should have been the same. The Holden two door Monaro was a knock out in the US as was the Holden based US Police car. The GA -8 follows a long tradition - the Avon Sabre and the Victa airtourer for example.

BUT we have this problem - its called the economics facility of ANU in Canberra.

Let me explain how it killed Australian manufacturing......

1. In Economics 101, budding economists learn about two things: Economy of scale and competitive advantage.

Economy of scale states that big production runs of a thing are cheaper because setup, tooling and design costs are spread over a larger amount of product. Therefore the unit cost is cheaper.

Competitive advantage states that it is cheaper to build product in some places rather than others. For example your costs are lower if you have cheap access to energy, raw materials people, markets or transport and distribution.

Good little economics students write essays about why the US car industry is in Detroit, why Britain was the natural place to develop the textile industry and Germany made guns and railway carriages. But wait! There has been progress in the 1960's they wrote about how Korea was the natural place for shipbuilding and Japan was a natural for cameras and electronics. The students also wrote essays in this same deterministic mindset about how Australian had no competitive advantage and got full marks if they parroted that we were destined to be a wool and wheat grower and a mine. Marks were deducted if they said anything that contradicted the theory of economy of scale or competitive advantage. There was some justification for that; industry protection after WWII had allowed manufacturers of virtually anything to rort the Byzantine tariff system we had, but however...

The Japanese invasion and destruction of the US car industry by little cars should have given the professors pause for thought, but it didn't.

So what did that mean for Australia?

Well, all those economics graduates went to work for Treasury and other Government Departments. They reformed the tariff system and threw open the doors to international competition.....great idea so far..... industry has to be internationally competitive...... sounds good, lots of Australian firms can't compete because they are fat and lazy and have no competitive advantage and no economy of scale. Economists can still sleep at night because the theory holds....

However there are a few that are left that still seem to be alive?????? WTF, Victa Airtourer? - an aircraft made HERE???? This can't be allowed to happen because it offends theory!!!!! GA 8* Airvan? Nomad ? Monaro? and, and, and THIS CANNOT BE RIGHT! THEORY SAYS THEY CAN'T BE COMPETITIVE! IF THEY SURVIVE WE MUST BE SUBSIDISING THEM IN SOME WAY! QUICK! PROTECT THEORY! BANKRUPT THESE UPSTARTS! WE ONLY DO WOOL, WHEAT, IRON ORE AND COAL!

..And that is what is happening even today because the economists are learning nineteenth century economics. The good professors have never heard of Kanban, CAD, CNC or the entire manufacturing movement to destroy economies of scale and make an EOQ of 1. They have never watched you tube and seen custom, personalised production of everything from bicycles to Porsches. They are still stuck with Henry Ford and Baton Rouge.

I was given a wonderful tour through Gipps. The GA* is a CAD design, CNC cut and matched drilled to higher precision then an F18 in the sheet metal area (GA8 stuff is interchangeable, F18 stuff has four cleco holes, then backdrill the rest Buddy). The GA8 can be economically made anywhere, it doesn't have to be in Los Angeles or Seattle. Same with everything else. there is little economy of scale and very little competitive advantage anywhere. The Mocassin wearing bogans of Moe make a good aeroplane. There is plenty of other good stuff designed or discovered here but will never be exploited because of Canberra (ask me about double cut plunge grinding of turbine blades).

However Canberra academics dont know that and will continue to suppress, resist enhancement of manufacturing capability or kill manufacturing in this country the best way they can.
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Old 16th Sep 2022, 13:47
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Interesting post Sunfish.

My son (at uni in Canberra!) mentioned essentially the same theory recently. More specifically, let places do what they’re good at, don’t waste your own limited resources trying to replicate those who do it better, just stick to what you’re specifically best at. In our case that’s historically been sheep and mining - not the cleverest of exports. Our tech products were often very good but terribly marketed and not supported by the government or consumers.

But that’s outdated thinking and time’s up. People like Elon Musk blast in and say no, this is how we’ll go to Mars, or this is how we’ll bypass GM and Ford and build Teslas. But the product MUST have a point of difference - doing something way better or cheaper than the current product.

i think Aussies have had a big fright with the way China has treated us, as well as a price shock with Covid related supply issues. The mindset has changed and we are far more supportive of locally produced goods. I saw Jeremy Clarkson rave about the HSV GTO and got one (and loved it). Would have an Aussie alternative to my Textron aircraft if there was one.

For the savvy investor, Gippsland Aviation is an awesome purchase in that it’s ready to go as is.
Possibly slickly rebrand, organise tie-ups with other brands (as Daher have done with the TBM and Kodak) and emphasise Aussie built quality and ruggedness.

Properly handled, there will be a global fleet of thousands of GA8’s, the larger variant they’d planned and stretched Nomads with new avionics, modern engines and improved systems. The military will also love them this time, they’ll be invaluable for flood and bushfire relief and in time, potentially autonomous versions will prove popular for remote parcel delivery etc. If people like Musk can go to mars, it’s not such a leap for the right team to make a relatively simple, ready-made product range like this work

Just hope it remains in Australia.

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Old 16th Sep 2022, 23:52
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I recall reading decades ago that the Nomad project was ham strung by Canberra not authorising purchase of material until a firm order had been placed by a customer, true or not? Sweden has a population less than half ours, yet the name Volvo is synonymous with quality cars world wide and SAAB for its design and production of fighter aircraft, among others (340, 2000 etc). Their Gripen fighter has found success in the export market and Thai owned aircraft have been seen in Oz participating in exercises. Be nice if we had the same design, engineering and manufacturing capability. Where do we go when all the holes we've dug run out?
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