- 11 Jun 2021
- GA Buyer Europe
Discover Daher's Kodiak 100 Series III, designed for land or water operations, and how Rheinland Air Services played a part in it gaining EASA certification...Back to Articles
The remarkably versatile new Kodiak 100 turboprop feels right at home on the water. Designed from the start for float operations, without needing any structural or aerodynamic upgrades, the new Series III Kodiak 100 lets you take off from the water or a runway.
That versatility is part of the Kodiak heritage. Originally built to fly services and supplies to the world’s most remote regions, the Kodiak continues to build on its rugged humanitarian mission roots. Today the unique sport utility aircraft masters many missions. The Kodiak 100 is now used for air ambulance evacuations, firefighting support, skydiving operations, surveillance, and wildlife management. Not to mention exciting getaways to the back-country, or your favourite hidden fishing lake.
“I flew different multi-mission aircraft in the past,” said Mark Brown, Kodiak chief demo pilot, “But believe me, if you ever fly a Kodiak, you will not want to fly anything else any more. It’s just fascinating.”
With its carbon-fiber floats (amphib floats and straight floats), and corrosion proofing inside and out, the Kodiak offers exceptional water operation performance. In addition, the new skin-gap sealant on the lower fuselage of the Series III provides improved corrosion protection. Meanwhile, the Kodiak’s pitch-latch propeller maintains a fine pitch when shutting down, giving pilots greater control and safety when using floats. And this also allows you to manoeuvre around docks easily.
When you are not dealing with docks, the Kodiak’s exceptional short takeoff and landing (STOL) capabilities will amaze you as well. You can take off and land in less than 1,000 ft (300 m), conquering even the roughest terrain or unimproved backcountry airstrips. With plenty of power and a reduced possibility of stalling due to the discontinuous leading-edge wing design, the Kodiak flies where others cannot. No runway, no problem.
EASA Certified Seaplane
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified the Kodiak 100 for seaplane floats use in the following configuration:
• Kodiak 100 aircraft
• Aerocet 6650 amphibious floats
• Standby battery STC
• MT five-bladed propeller
We will take a close look at these individually. But, first, let’s see how the EASA type certification came about – with the help of Kodiak’s long-time European dealer, based at Mönchengladbach Airport in Germany.
Rheinland Air Service (RAS) has been the European Dealer and Authorized Service Center for Kodiak Aircraft since 2014. RAS provides Kodiak sales, maintenance, service and training all from one convenient source. The company has been an Approved Training Organization (ATO) for the Kodiak since 2017, and is the only European ATO offering EASA certified training for the Kodiak 100 on floats.
RAS just delivered its first Kodiak 100 on floats to a customer in southern Europe, the first Kodiak seaplane in operation there. But another two Kodiak Seaplanes were also sold by RAS and will soon be delivered for use in northern Europe.
Rheinland Air Service Aids EASA Certification
Rheinland Air Service was also instrumental in gaining the EASA supplemental type certification (STC) for Kodiak Aircraft in parachute and floats configuration. RAS worked closely with its partners and service providers to make this happen.
Unlike the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), EASA required its registered Kodiak 100 owners to retrofit a third battery to initially comply with European regulations. But the Field Service Instructions in FSI-148 for the standby battery system created some challenges for floatplane use. In normal use, the third battery is installed behind the engine firewall in the cabin, between the crew seats. But in a seaplane, that space is needed for the lever controlling the float landing gear. .
A creative solution was needed. In preparation for EASA certification, RAS commissioned the development of a Kodiak 100 battery modification. RAS worked with the aircraft company, EASA, and a German engineering firm to develop and gain approval for the necessary modification. RAS even furnished its own Kodiak aircraft during the development in just eight weeks. The plane was made available for engineering processes, installation, testing, and final STC approval by EASA.
As mentioned, the normal standby battery location is unsuitable for seaplanes. The normal location would interfere with optional equipment like the TKS tank for the deicing system or with the hydraulic hand pumps for the floats. To overcome these limitations the subcontracted German engineering company, an EASA Part 21J design organisation, developed an STC that reorganises the battery arrangement.
The company implemented a larger battery, housed in fireproof casing which can be installed in the nose of the aircraft. Besides allowing EASA-registered owners to use floats, the solution provides about a 20 percent weight saving, compared to the normal European battery installation. That’s a nice bonus.
MT Propeller and Aerocet Floats Add Flexibility
Another important component of the EASA certified seaplane configuration is the five- bladed MT propeller from Germany. Long known as a high-performance upgrade, an MT propeller provides numerous advantages resulting in a significantly improved take-off performance. The prop’s advanced vibration damping leads to a noteworthy reduction in cabin noise, up to 5 decibels, while also reducing vibration-related pilot fatigue. With their greater ground clearance, MT propellers offer unlimited blade life with fewer foreign object debris (FOD) concerns. In fact, the blades are FOD repairable.
Because of their long business relationship with the propeller manufacturer, RAS was instrumental in the engineering and EASA approval process, even providing extensive test flights. The MT propeller most of all complies with the strict German enhanced noise regulations, allowing unrestricted airport operation.
The Aerocet 6650 amphibious floats complete the package. Lighter than aluminium, the light- weight carbon-composite floats allow you to land on both solid ground and water. The floats feature a gear advisory system that provides an audible announcement for gear positions and “check gear” conditions. There are illuminated indicators for each gear wheel and position. The backlit display makes for easy reading, while a dimmer adjustment and test feature are available as well.
“With its carbon-fibre floats and corrosion proofing inside and out, the Kodiak offers exceptional water operation performance.”
The amphibious floats have an electric hydraulic pump system. It works with low average pressure to reduce maintenance. Built-in pressure relief guards protect against thermal or hand pump pressure. The system is designed for simplicity and user-friendliness, such as easy fluid level reading. These advanced floats let the Kodiak go where other planes cannot.
That is the charm of the Kodiak – the ability to adventure everywhere. The aircraft is as strong and reliable as a truck, with the refinements of a sport utility vehicle. A choice of interior packages lets you customise the Kodiak for business, pleasure or both.
The Series III aircraft offers an eight-seat Executive Edition cabin option. This choice includes club-style seating for passengers, air conditioning with separate zone controls for both cockpit and cabin, plus increased oxygen capacity. Whether you choose the preferred Summit package or the Timberline, comfort and flexibility await. Speaking of flexibility, the Timberline’s leather seats can be removed in about 30 seconds! This lets you convert from passengers to cargo, with easy cargo loading through the large square door in no time.
Powerful Performance, Advanced Avionics
Powered by a reliable 750 horsepower Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 turboprop engine, the new Kodiak delivers the performance needed for any mission. The Kodiak has a power-to-weight ratio of 9.67lbs/horsepower. That is 20 percent better than the closest competition.
Newly integrated into the Kodiak Series III cockpit is the next-generation Garmin G1000 NXi avionics suite. The G1000 NXi offers a combination of standard and optional features that ease pilot workload, while increasing situational awareness and safety. One of the most popular new standard features is the Flight Stream 510. This technology allows pilots to transfer flight plans and databases to the G1000 NXi from their mobile devices over Bluetooth.
Other technology and safety upgrades in the Series III are the first integration of Garmin’s GWX 75 Doppler-capable, fully stabilised colour weather radar. The high-resolution radar’s colour palette visualises more detailed contouring of storm cells. It also provides exceptional range and adjustable scanning profiles.
Cockpit technology also includes the GFC700 autopilot with full envelope protection and level mode, an angle-of-attack (AOA) indicator, SurfaceWatch runway monitoring, ChartView capabilities, and the Synthetic Vision Technology useful for virtual flight reference.
Peace of Mind Maintenance Policies
Furthermore, with the Series III, Kodiak is now including several maintenance policies with their aircraft. These help protect your investment, so you can continue flying memorable adventures for many years.
All-inclusive Kodiak Care covers scheduled maintenance for up to your fourth annual inspection, or 1,000 flight hours, whichever comes first. The PT6A-34 turboprop engine is protected with 400 hours of Pratt & Whitney Canada’s Gold-level ESP Maintenance Plan coverage.
One year of CAMP maintenance tracking as well as a one-year Garmin NavData subscription are included with the Kodiak 100 Series III. Kodiak also offers 24/7/365 technical support and aircraft on ground (AOG) response.
Another reason for peace of mind is the manufacturer of the Kodiak, Daher. Daher produces two leading families of turboprop airplanes. The company builds the very fast, pressurised TBM aircraft in Tarbes, France; and Daher also builds the rugged, versatile Kodiak in Sandpoint, Idaho, USA. “With a family- owned company history dating back to 1863, and a current presence in 13 countries worldwide, you can depend on Daher,” said the company.
Empowering Your Next Adventures
The Kodiak was born as a rugged bush plane, capable of humanitarian missions under the worst possible conditions. Since then it has seen improvement continuously, resulting in the Series III. The 10-seat Kodiak 100 is now the safest, most modern and versatile STOL turboprop.
“With these latest upgrades and quality improvements,” said Nicolas Chabbert, CEO of Kodiak Aircraft, “the most modern, rugged and reliable aircraft in its class is now even better with the Kodiak 100 Series III.”
The Kodiak offers incredible performance. Imagine being able to take off and land in less than 1,000ft (300m). That lets you tame even the toughest terrain or roughest runways. Combining that remarkable STOL capability with its heavy payload capacity, the Kodiak 100 is ideal for governmental or institutional missions. But with its comfortable interior, ample storage, and economy, the Kodiak can also fill gaps in your corporate fleet, freight operation, or charter service.
No other aircraft in the world today matches the Kodiak’s seaplane performance, efficiency, cost and safety. The plane is extraordinarily stable in the air and on the water. A water landing is like “touching down on a cushion” and a takeoff from water is very quick. The Kodiak also handles rough water very well. The Kodiak is at home in the air or on the water.
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