GippsAero GA8 Airvan Astra: Operationally Proven

After more than 10 years in service with Air Support Units in three continents, discover what makes the Airvan Astra the operationally proven solution...

AvBuyer  |  24th April 2019
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    The AvBuyer editorial team includes Matt Harris and Rebecca Applegarth who contribute to a number of...

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    GippsAero GA8

    The Airvan ASTRA has been in service now with Air Support Units in three continents for more than 10 years of successful operations, from emergency services mapping and fire monitoring to covert surveillance ISR, providing CT and counter Narcotics Intelligence for numerous government agencies.

    It is proven, active and available, optioned to customer specifications from the factory. No other manufacturer offers the level of capability and support that GippsAero and Mahindra Aerospace provides to customers of the ASTRA.

    It is reliable, economical and possesses the best visibility, at all crew stations, of any platform on the market.

    As well as offering internal space normally only found in much larger and more expensive aircraft, the ASTRA has fully FAR23 crashworthy certified operators work stations and seating/restraint systems.

    The cockpit and cabin space permits installation of extensive communications, mapping and AV monitors as the large operator’s console and desk, as well as in the cockpit where the flight crew can also have full access to the mission systems. All of this with room to move.

    Dual alternators provide plenty of 28 and 14 Volt capacity for aircraft and mission requirements.

    The Airvan is also renowned for the ability to sip fuel while remaining on station at altitudes of up to 15,000ft at half the cost of a turbine powered fixed wing platform, while carrying an equivalent mission load of crew and equipment.

    This aircraft is no halfway house for mission compromise, The Airvan ASTRA can carry a crew of three as well as a retractable 15 inch EO/IR HD gimbal, the latest Geo-referenced Moving Map street and terrain following systems, MW downlink, multi-band encrypted communication transceivers, agency specific radios, Cell and Sat phone interface and autonomous Bluetooth and WiFi systems, all with an available loiters of 6hrs (with reserves) all in air conditioned comfort.

    The ASTRA optimised airframe package offers specific role configuration upgrades with improved lighting for night ops, extra windows and access for mission looms and equipment and a conformal special missions belly pod that houses the covert retractable installation of a 15inch/380mm, 48kg EO/IR gimbal, as well as discreet installation of comms and other antennas for many roles.

    Having the sensor centrally mounted and extended provides a field of view that cannot be matched by other competitors.

    Nose or side mounted cameras compromise the ability of the aircraft to manoeuvre in situations where it is vital to maintain “eyes on target”.

    This can severely impact an entire mission or the whole operation. It is essential to maintain imaging on the point of interest and not a collection of wheels, engine nacelles, exhaust plumes and/or other parts of the airframe protruding into and obscuring the image at the worst possible time.

    If the image is the most important product of the mission, then the best platform should be used. Even when the situation is critical, our mission pod allows the aircraft to manoeuvre left or right without airframe obstruction.

    For cost effective ISR, Police, Fire Services and general observation, there is a custom configured ASTRA installation that will meet any mission profile and capability at a fraction of the cost of turbine fixed wing or helicopter equivalent.

    This enables an agency to focus the budget upon the equipment; the best cameras, the best mapping and the most capable downlink, as well as a more comprehensive on-board suite, which is the best place to spend the big bucks.

    It also permits those with a smaller budget to acquire the best platform that can be progressively upgraded to bigger and better sensors and devices as they become available and affordable, rather than being limited to smaller and less capable imaging, mapping, downlink and comms equipment.

    Go with the proven performer, GippsAero and Mahindra Aerospace can tailor a package for all your mission essentials. We have experienced in-house experts with real knowledge of your requirements and operational experience in the field.

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