...New Zealand PAC750XL Aims For Skydiver Market

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Not far away in the North Display Area, Pacific Aerospace Corp. of New Zealand introduced its PAC 750XL to the Oshkosh crowds. The 750XL was FAA certified last year, and five already are operating in the U.S., according to Ray Ferrell, who is the U.S. distributor and also an owner. The big cabin will hold 17 skydivers and the fast climb rate means operators can haul four loads per hour, compared to three per hour and 15 jumpers for a Caravan, Ferrell said. That performance plus fuel efficiency can make the brand-new aircraft, with a base price of $1.12 million, competitive in a market where the economics usually have required the use of older aircraft, he said. The aircraft on display at Oshkosh was the first built under a joint venture with Mechachrome of Canada. Airplanes for the North American market will be manufactured to kit form in New Zealand and assembled at Mechachrome. The 750XL flies with a Pratt & Whitney PT6-34 and has a useful load of 4,280 pounds. It can be configured for skydivers, seated passengers, cargo, or medical missions.