National origin:
Morwell, Victoria, Australia
Service period:
1977 – present (46 years)

Gippsland Aeronautics was founded in 1977 by Peter Furlong as an aircraft maintenance and modification business operating out of Latrobe Regional Airport in Morwell, working for large organisations such as the National Safety Council of Australia and Esso Australia, as well as local commercial operators. In 1984 George Morgan joined Peter Furlong to form Gippsland Aeronautics Pty Ltd as an incorporated entity.

Between 1985 and 1991 Gippsland Aeronautics developed the GA200 agricultural aircraft, following approaches by local aircraft operators to design an agricultural aircraft with better lifting and handling capabilities than other available aircraft. The GA200C Fatman was Type Certificated by the Australian Civil Aviation Authority in 1991. In 1993 the company commenced design work on a new aircraft designated the GA8, to fill a market niche between the six-seater Cessna 206 and the ten-seater Cessna Caravan. The «proof of concept» GA8 Airvan made its first flight in March 1995 and appeared at the Australian International Airshow in Avalon. The prototype GA8 Airvan made its first flight in August 1996. The Airvan then underwent a major flight testing and development programme. In 2000 the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority certificated the GA8 Airvan to FAR 23 Amendment 48, and the vehicle began to be exported from December of the following year, with a delivery to Maya Island Air in Belize, Central America.

In 2002 the US Civil Air Patrol appointed Gippsland Aeronautics to supply Airvans, making the CAP the first American organisation to own and fly the Airvan, and the largest fleet owner of the Australian GA8 worldwide. In 2003 the Airvan gained Type Certification in Canada with Avalon Aircraft Corporation of Richmond, British Columbia appointed as the Canadian representative. This was followed by type certification by the US FAA. In 2004 the first Airvan was delivered to a Canadian operator, Wings Over Wilderness, and a Cargo Pod for Airvan was certified by the Australian Civil Aviation Authority.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certified the GA8 Airvan in 2005. The Gippsland Aeronautics Airvan airframe #100 was rolled out in September of the following year. The completion of 100 Airvans was considered to be a significant milestone in Australian aircraft manufacturing. At least three other manufacturers of Australian civil aircraft have built more than 100 aircraft in the post-WW2 era, the others being the Transavia Airtruk (118), the Victa Airtourer (168) and the Government Aircraft Factories (GAF) with 170 twin-engined N22 & N24 Nomads. By February 2007, Gippsland Aeronautics had built 110 GA8 Airvans and 50 GA200 Fatmans.

In December 2009, Mahindra Aerospace Pvt. Ltd. (MAPL), belonging to Mahindra Group of India, bought a 75.1% majority stake in the company.

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