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Skydivers Hope New Plane Will Win Oz Champs Bid

Published: Fri 21 Oct 2005 01:23 PM
News release
For immediate release
October 21, 2005
Sydney Sky Diving Firm Hopes New Plane Will Win Australian Championships Bid
Sydney's biggest sky diving operator believes the delivery of another new 750 XL aircraft from New Zealand's Pacific Aerospace Corporation (PAC) will tip the odds in favour of its bid for the 2006 national championships business.
The plane's delivery flight across the Tasman this month to Sydney Sky Divers made it the fourteenth 750 XL sold worldwide in its skydiving configuration.
Sydney Sky Divers' Director Phil Onis says it's the second 750 XL added to the company's fleet and he expects the aircraft will now help his firm – which has a fleet of eight aircraft flying 4000 hours and carrying 10,000 tandem skydivers a year – to win its bid to carry 600 to 800 skydivers in Australia's National Skydiving Championships at Christmas 2006.
"If we get the championships with the 750 XL they'll get worldwide exposure and a lot of other sky diving countries will rush out to buy it, so their teams can train in them. That's what has happened traditionally, specially with the Americans," Onis says.
"The 750 XL is lighter, has a bigger motor, more room inside and a fixed under carriage. We need an aircraft that will get up and down quickly. It's a question of fuel you take to get a certain number of bums to altitude. The 750 uses 65 litres to take 17 skydivers up, our twin engine Otters are using 110 litres. The 750's airframe is very light and we're also not carting up a lot of unnecessary metal."
PAC today also delivered the first agricultural version of 750 XL, the world's newest topdresser. Instead of carrying 17 skydivers, it is fitted with a two tonne hopper – and its first buyer, Taumaranui Aerial Co-operation, in the centre of New Zealand's North Island, describes it as a "significant breakthrough in agricultural aircraft design". It has already ordered a second.
PAC has a 52-year history in pioneering agricultural aircraft design. The new topdresser will take nearly twice the load of high volume fertilisers, like urea, and go faster – for the same fuel consumption.
PAC expects the aircraft will also meet the international market for rugged commuter and freight aircraft, in special demand by aid agencies.
And it can be used for firebombing, which Onis agrees could play a big part in the plane's success: "That's huge in Australia. It's unbelievable how big it's getting."
PAC Managing Director Brian Hare says the 750 XL, which sells for about NZ$1.8 million, will also appeal because, when later sold, it can be converted for any of its uses – commuter, freight, sky diving or agricultural.
PAC is now also offering buyers finance for the first time.
So far PAC has delivered 20 750 XLs, 14 in their sky diving configuration.
ENDS

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