Aero India 2011: Get your own plane for just Rs2.92 crore

Domestic aerospace company Mahindra Aerospace Private Limited has started sale of the 5-seater turbo-charged aircraft GA8-TC Airvan at $6,50,000 (approximately Rs2.92 crore).

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Aero India 2011: Get your own plane for just Rs2.92 crore


Travelling in your own private aircraft is now within reach with Mahindra Aerospace Private Limited’s (MAPL) launching its GA8-TC Airvan.

The domestic aerospace company has started sale of this 5-seater turbo-charged aircraft at $6,50,000 (approximately Rs2.92 crore).

“It will cost you only 30%-40% more than travelling in a high-end AC car, and will cut down your travelling time significantly,” says Hemant Luthra, president, systech sector, Mahindra and Mahindra.

The basic version of the Airvan has got all the airworthiness certification in India.

Luthra said the company, which has begun manufacturing civil aircraft in Australia, will start its India operations in the next two years.

“We will set up our aircraft factory in India by 2014 after which our aircraft will be made here. It is a two-step process. We have bought the land where we will start making the aircraft components. Once that has begun, we can start getting certifications - We’re building planes with the highest standard of FAR23 safety,” he said.

Since MAPL has already got certifications for its aircraft in Australia, it will make it easier for it to get the green signal in India.
Consulting firm AT Kearney has estimated the global demand for 8-10 seater turbo propellers to be close to 5000 planes a year. India’s annual demand for this type of planes would be 200-400.
Luthra is optimistic about Airvan’s growth in the domestic market and expects demand for low-priced aircraft like GA8 to soar with the rising disposable income of Indians.  

“For an aircraft that is as affordably priced as the GA8, there will always be a large market,” he said.

Luthra said turboprop is not only attracting enquiries from the corporate sector, the Indian Air Force too has expressed interest in using it for paratrooper training and coast guard surveillance. 
MAPL is shortly expecting certification for its GA10, another turboprop from its stable. The company will begin marketing it next year.

The public-private partnership (PPP) between Mahindra and NAL to make the 5-seater NM5-100 is expected to take off early this year.

“We expect the certification for it (MN5-100) within 18 months from then. Mahindra will handle the production as well as certification outside India, while NAL will do the certification within the country,” Luthra said.

The company signed a MoU with the Karnataka government on Thursday for investing Rs284 crore in the state to set up an aircraft component manufacturing unit over 25 acres in Naraspura.

Luthra said MAPL was interested in acquiring more land at the park to increase capacity to meet rising demands.

“Aircraft need to be assembled near an airfield. We are in talks to rent a hangar at one of the industrial parks with airfields that are underutilised and not too busy like BIA (Bangalore International Airport),” said Karthik Krishnamurthy, chief technology officer (CTO), MAPL.

The group is rolling out 25 planes a year in Australia and hopes to achieve similar figures in India by manufacturing about 10 planes and five NM5-100s.

“This figure will depend on additional certifications that we get in other countries,” Krishnamurthy said.

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