By Mary Grady, Contributing editor
GippsAero, the Australian manufacturer of the GA8 Airvan, said this week it has signed a partnership agreement with Soloy Aviation Solutions, based in Olympia, Wash., to assemble the airplanes for the North American market. Soloy also will provide technical support. GippsAero said it has been working for more than a year to increase its presence in North America, and moving assembly to Washington is a "significant next step." Since many components of the aircraft originate from the U.S., including the engine, propeller and avionics, "it makes good commercial sense to ship critical aircraft components from Australia for local assembly," the company said. The plan aims "to reduce lead time and improve flexibility in delivering a more customized solution for the North American market."
Arvind Mehra, CEO of Mahindra Aerospace, the parent company for GippsAero, said his company is "delighted" to partner with Soloy. "Their expertise will certainly help us consolidate our presence in North America and grow market awareness and visibility for the Mahindra Aerospace brand," he said. AVweb's editorial director Paul Bertorelli went flying in an AirVan early this year; click here for his review of the airplane.