March 26, 2012
Quest Aircraft is now working on developing "special mission" capabilities for its rugged Kodiak STOL turboprop in partnership with Northrop Grumman, the companies have announced. Under the new agreement, the two companies will work together to develop technology to use the Kodiak as a platform for new purposes such as aerial intelligence, aerial observation, law enforcement, search and rescue, and aero-medical transport. "We believe that once integrated, this platform will be a real game-changer for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities for state, civil and international agencies as well as for special operations forces," said Bob Gamache, of Northrop Grumman Technical Services.
The Kodiak is powered by a PT6 by Pratt & Whitney Canada, and can take off in less than 1,000 feet at maximum gross weight of 7,255 pounds. It should prove competitive with other special-mission aircraft due to its STOL capabilities and also on a cost basis, the company said. "We believe this will be a real game changer for us," Quest's marketing director Steve Zinda told AVweb at Sun 'n Fun this week. To listen to AVweb's Mary Grady talk with Zinda about the project, which Quest has dubbed "Air Claw," click here.