March 20, 2002
PAC 750XL News Update
Pacific Aerospace Corporation (PAC) is working through the last few aerodynamic adjustments with the PAC 750XL.
One of the last issues was the aileron system and the optimum up and down movement of the ailerons. The work of the engineering staff and flight
department is really apparent in the way the plane flies and handles.
This is an unbelievably awesome aircraft to fly. There is very little pitch trim necessary with the aircraft configured at gross weight, either full
forward or full aft center of gravity.
Nothing dramatic happens while in a deep stall. Aileron authority is strong while configured in the stall, the nose of the aircraft simply rocks up and
down. Any tendency to drop a wing is easily corrected with aileron.
The overall performance in the climb is about 10% better than predicted and the empty weight is lighter than projected. There are areas where the
aircraft can be lightened further. For instance, the prototype nose cowl is heavier than necessary, and the sliding jump door will lighten up with the
addition of the clear panel. The production aircraft could tip the scales at under 3,000 lbs empty! But this is not new ground for PAC, as the Cresco
weighs in at around 3,000 lbs and will consistently operate at a gross weight of 8,000 lbs, from unimproved strips. The twenty year history has shown
the Cresco to be a strong aircraft.
The production wing will be smoother, with the fuel caps located at the outboard ends of the tanks, to make refueling safer. A blended leading edge
cuff has been added next to the fuselage, which increases slow speed stability and also enhances the looks.
There will be a host of minor aerodynamic cleanups on the production plane, which will contribute to even better performance.
The flap system is really robust. We cannot see how the left flap will be damaged with two or three skydivers standing on it. The drive mechanism
will handle it with ease and the flap itself has closely spaced ribs with a heavy skin along the walk area.
There was a setback in the flight test program that was totally unpredicted. During the slow speed trials, there was an inconsistency with stall speed. Each flight would generate unpredictable results. The speeds were being measured to a 1-knot accuracy with a very precise GPS, similar to
the units used in the agricultural aircraft. This system uses either a ground station or another satellite to enhance the accuracy. The aircraft would fly
a predetermined pattern to eliminate the wind factor.
An Ag pilot, who noted an error in his GPS, resolved the inconsistency problem.
Because he would finish his load, third fence post from the corner, he would expect to start at the same fence post with a new load. However, the
usually reliable GPS was not locating the fence post in the same spot. Inquiries revealed that the GPS signal had been down graded since the events
of September the 11th. This down graded signal caused PAC no end of trouble. The staff had to switch back to the old system, certify the analogue
meters, back up, and repeat the flight test data.
The NZ. CAA/ US. FAA certification flights are scheduled to begin very soon. This will involve approximately 102 spin entry demonstrations, as
well as testing the complete flight envelope. This series of flight trials is expected to take 60 flights. Two flights per day are scheduled, but this is
The float plane version is moving forward, but is taking a back seat to the certification process. PAC are consulting with a Canadian company who
are experts in the field of straight floats and amphibs. For cargo operators, the pod is being configured with a large aft door capable of handling
outsizes objects, for example, 4X8 feet sheets of plywood, stacked. The pod will also have the usual side loading capability. We will have a drawing of
the pod on the web site soon.
This is such an exciting aircraft. We are all looking forward to seeing the final certification.
We always enjoy our visits to PAC. The staff are always open to discuss the progress. There is a steady no nonsense work ethic, and it shows in a
If you are planning a trip to New Zealand, feel free to contact PAC or us at Utility Aircraft to arrange a factory tour.
John McWilliam has an excellent grasp on his new position as General Manager. He has an extensive background in management and stick and
Managing Director, Mr. Brian Hare, is doing a stellar job in leading Pacific Aerospace Corporation in this new, exciting venture. His vision, drive
and clear thinking are pivotal in the evolution of the PAC 750XL.
A reminder that this is a good time to place your refundable deposits for your PAC 750XL. We have a no nonsense purchase plan in place so you
can secure a production slot. Contact us for details. We think you will be pleasantly surprised with how affordable this new aircraft is.
We invite you to check out the numbers on our web site, under Skydiver Cost Comparisons. Downloading, enables you to enter the numbers, from your operation. It is a very interesting excercise.
We are also open to suggestions and would like to hear from you.
Utility Aircraft Corporation
(530) 754-7371 fax