May 26, 2007

Kodiak: Parte Deux

A week or so ago I blogged on the Quest Aircraft Kodiak and it's potential uses in CAP. After looking into it a little more, it looks more an more suited to CAP's role. According to the video "Corporate Intro" (Available here, along with pictures of the aircraft) the Kodiak was designed for operations "in the bush". Unlike the Caravan, Otter and C-172/182, which although rugged and durable, were not designed for back-country ops specifically.

In addition, the video says the aircraft was designed for slow speed and STOL. Given the fact that our searches take place at slow airspeeds low to the ground, the aircraft feels ideal for that situation. The aircraft was also designed for a quick recovery from stalls, with a lot of power. The discontinuous leading edge prevents the stall from moving further down the wing as the angle of attack increases. Secondly, it gives the aircraft better aileron control, especially at slow airspeeds.

However, let's also consider the fuel cost. Our GA-8 Airvans burn fuel at 14 Gal/hour at 118 kts (according to their Spec's page online). This is the killer, because the Kodiak requires 47 gal/hr to operate at 185 kts. What it is at 118 kts is unclear at this point. This would kill the deal, but since it is unclear, I will not rule out the aircraft yet.

And, as the video says, the purpose of the aircraft was to "build an aircraft that would cater to the humanitarian market...moving goods and services into [the country] to aide people". Isn't that what we do?

(all images are copyright Quest Aircraft, no infringement is intended)

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