GippsAero, manufacturer of the Airvan 8 and turboprop Airvan 10 utility aircraft, has halted production and has been put up for sale by its corporate parent, Mahindra Aerospace, of Mumbai, India.
The shutdown of GippsAero, headquartered in Morwell, Victoria, Australia, was confirmed to AOPA by GippsAero CEO Keith Douglas.
The eight-place Airvan 8, powered by a 300-horsepower Lycoming IO-540 piston engine, is certified in 43 countries with about 250 aircraft in service, “many in demanding geographic regions or locations,” according to the Mahindra Aerospace website.
There are approximately 31 Airvan 8 aircraft of U.S. registry, according to online FAA aircraft registration records.
The stretched, 10-place Airvan 10, powered by a 450-shaft-horsepower Rolls-Royce M250 B-17F/2 turboprop engine, received Australian and U.S. type certificates in 2017.
On June 4, 2018, the first production Airvan 10 crashed near Mojave, California, during spin-certification testing. The two test pilots parachuted to safety.
In August 2020, reports in the region’s aviation press said Mahindra was “looking to cut their losses” following a rocky decade of trying to make its majority-stake investment in GippsAero produce the desired return, and that workforce and Airvan 8 production cutbacks were tied to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on aircraft sales.
Two U.S. companies and one in Australia were said to be “keen to buy GippsAero and keep it running,” according to one of the reports.