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P-750 XSTOL, PAC Is Back

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The Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-powered PAC-750XL plane designed primarily to haul and dump 16 skydivers is now the P-750 XSTOL and it's being marketed by Pacific Aerospace Limited (PAL) as the "ultimate" air utility vehicle. The specifications behind that drive include the airplane's ability to operate at weights in excess of 1.5 tons in and out of 800-foot strips, its ability to be outfitted to carry a nearly 4,900-pound load (in ag-sprayer form) and climb at 1500 feet per minute at 7500 pounds gross weight, according to the company. One XSTOL (short for "extreme" short take off and landing) was fitted with a ferry tank and flown from Kona, Hawaii, to California landing "with enough fuel to make it to Denver," according to company representatives. It departed at 11,000 pounds (well over gross) and managed a climb of 400 fpm, according to PAL. At AirVenture, company representatives said the low-wing aircraft will stall at 40 knots, presumably when empty (the company's literature lists that number at 58 and cruise at 140). Panel packages can include Garmin 430/530 avionics, and aircraft configurations (application, aerial survey, jump operations) can set the cost anywhere from about $1.5 to $1.75 million.

The company clearly promotes the aircraft for rough-field use, although the fact that it carries fuel in its low wing may deter some from testing the extent of its abilities in that regime. PAL says the aircraft has been in use in most warm climates around the world -- it is not certified for known ice -- and has operated at airfield up to 9,000 ft AGL. To date, 12 have been imported to the U.S. for skydiving use.

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