Gippsland GA8 Airvan

The Gippsland GA8 Airvan is the newest type aircraft in the Civil Air Patrol fleet. This GA8 was selected as the platform for the Airborne Real-Time Cueing Hyperspectral Enhanced Reconnaissance (ARCHER) system. In addition to this role, the GA8 has become vital in personnel/equipment transportation, reconnaissance, and homeland security operations.

The Gippsland GA8 Airvan is equipped with advanced avionics. The aircraft has a capacity to carry six personnel including the pilot. With slow speed maneuverability capabilities, the aircraft can easily perform multiple search or reconnaissance roles.

The GA8 is equipped with the ARCHER system. When performing mission using this system, highly trained aircrew members can perform hyperspectral searches in real time. This technology allows aircrews to discriminate various objects below much more accurately than the naked eye. Items of interest can them be transmitted via satellite to personnel on the ground for further examination. Currently, the Civil Air Patrol is the only organization in the world to employee this technology.

General Characteristics
Primary Function: Airborne Real-Time Cueing Hyperspectral Enhanced Reconnaissance (ARCHER)
Contractor: Gippsland
Wingspan: 12.4m (40'9")
Length: 8.9m (29'4")
Height: 3.9m (12'9")
Crew: 4 (pilot, observer, ARCHER operator, ARCHER tracker)
Engine: Lycoming IO-540-K1A5
Cruise Speed: 118 KTAS at 4,000 ft
Maximum speed: 185 Knots
Range: 930 nm (9hr)
Rate of Climb: 787 ft/min (ISA Sea Level)