Pacific Aerospace, a New Zealand based company, recently unveiled a new form of the P-750 XSTOL, single-engined turboprop. The new engine features greater power and range, along with a quicker rate of climb. The new engine, which is called the Super-Pac XL, has been designed as a competitor to the Supervan 900, Cessna’s re-engined version of the 208 Caravan.
Mark Crouch, general manager of Pacific Aerospace, shares how the new program is consuming their market share. He highlights the global fleet of approximately one-hundred Supervans. This is in comparison to the one-hundred twenty P-750s and the previous PAC 750XL. Crouch believes the P-750 will steadily play an important part in many of the company’s markets, but they will need an extra option for the operators that want a higher performance.
The Super-Pac will be backed up by a 900hp Pratt and Whitney PT6A-140A engine. This will drive a 4-blade 108in Hartzell propeller, an upgrade from the P-750’s 750hp PT6A-34. The Supervan in contrast is powered by a 900hp Honeywell TPE331-10/12JR.
Crouch also brags that the Super-Pac will be like “a rocket ship.” Based on the response by customers thus far, Pacific Aerospace anticipates a high demand for this new type, especially among the skydiving community and commercial operators serving in more remote, mountain areas since a fast rate of climb is important. A modified P-750, which is being used as a flight-test article, recently has undergone testing on ground at the headquarters of Pacific Hamilton. The new process for the certification campaign will begin once the okay is given by the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand.
Approval for the new process is expected to be given sometime this year, with deliveries following shortly after. Pacific Aerospace notes that they have already secured pre-production deposits, but the first shipments will be sent to the skydiving community.
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