March 27, 2001
PAC 750XL Update
We spent the week of
March 5th with Pacific Aerospace Corporation (PAC) reviewing the current status
of the PAC750XL. The fuselage has just passed the stress testing required by FAA
Part 23. The wings, tail-surfaces, landing gear, engine, cowling, etc. have been
waiting the testing of the new fuselage. Buy this time next week we should have
pictures of an airplane. The project timeline has slipped slightly as the
fuselage design was reviewed for a future float option. The really good news for
us is that the strength far exceeds the minimum FAA requirement!
Skydivers from around New
Zealand responded to our request for equipped bodies to help us out
demonstrating the fuselage size. They claimed to be anxious to see the plane,
but we suspect they were really going for the free beer and pizza. The picture
shows 17 equipped sportjumpers sitting on the floor. As you can see, there is
room for an 18th person (who can just be seen standing outside). When
we added the bench seating and got everyone off the floor, it was apparent that
the seating for 17 is loose and there is room for more. The ceiling is also high
enough for a tandem pair to hook up comfortably.
The jump door is really
good. It slides up into the ceiling and takes up very little room. It also fits
flush with the exterior fuselage skin when closed and there is a good seal at
the top and bottom. The door will lock from the outside (for ground security),
and the goal is to have it close by pilot control in flight. The door in the
photo will more than likely be used for combination jump and utility operations.
The jump door will have a large clear plastic window within the door. For pure
utility operations, the jump door and tracks will be easily removed and the
large upward opening utility door will be added.
Inside and outside handrails, jump and camera steps will be added and we have
a design that will be functional yet very safe.
We are very mindful of the distance from the door to the horizontal
stabilizer. This distance is greater than a King Air, and the horizontal
stabilizer is located approximately 8 inches higher than our artist rendering.
Our artist rendering was developed from an image of a Cresco, which has the jump
step extending approximately 3 feet aft of the door. With gravity working in our
favor, a jump step ending 3 feet further forward and a higher horizontal
stabilizer, we feel confident that we are going in the right direction with this
Seatbelts will be installed for every occupant, and we are working through
the feasibility of developing a retention system, which will be a quantum leap
forward in occupant safety, yet be very easy to use and maintain. Details later.
Since we were in New Zealand last, we noted that there are more and more PAC
aircraft moving into the DZ role. This is really encouraging. The operators are
reporting that in the DZ mode, the aircraft are absolutely coasting compared to
ag operations, and that the maintenance is as close to zero as one can possibly
expect to achieve, even with very high time aircraft. This has been the goal of
the PAC engineering staff and we believe they have managed the task admirably.
Developing a new aircraft is no easy task, and we know there will be some
unforeseen challenges, which may cause delays in our best projections. While we
are all very anxious to be in production ASAP, both UAC and PAC are striving to
get it right, and will not rush forward until all goals are met.
We have refined the spreadsheet numbers and you can review this information
on our web site. Feel free to down load it and plug in your own numbers.
This aircraft is going to be awesome. Four of the first 10 production slots
are now spoken for. We have only 6 slots left which will lock up the
introductory price of $899,000.
Remember that your deposit secures your production slot, saves you at least
$25,000 on the cost of the plane, is interest earning and fully refundable.
Contact us for additional details an application and save your slot today.
Utility Aircraft Corporation
(530) 754-7371 fax