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New aircraft helps deliver urgent supplies to Pacific

Merewai Durutalo

P-750 XSTOL aircraft can operate in hot and humid conditions which makes it ideal for Pacific nations.

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Kiwi engineers have developed an aircraft they believe will help save lives in the Pacific.

The multi-million dollar P-750 XSTOL aircraft was created to aid in government and humanitarian services within the Pacific region and is uniquely designed to access remote areas of the world.

It has been dubbed the “4 by 4 of the skies” by Stephen Burrows, CEO of the makers of the aircraft NZAero.

The aircraft’s main use in the Pacific is to aid in the distribution of emergency supplies.

“It also brings urgent supplies to their villages, it can be equipped with medevac stretchers so, we can put three medical stretches in there and three medics and carry anything you want in and out.”

He says it has been adopted quite heavily in the Pacific with Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia being the three strongholds for the aircraft.

Burrows says there are only 30 fixed wing manufacturers in the world and we’re very fortunate that New Zealand has a manufacturer which has been operating for 70 years producing very strong robust aircrafts.

The latest aircraft design has a stronger engine which has gone from 750 shaft horsepower to 900 shaft horsepower and propellers to match too.

He says this upgrade to the aircraft allows for it to get off the ground quicker and operate in hot and humid conditions which makes it ideal for Pacific nations.

It also does not require a sealed runway and is capable of taking off in as little as 200 metres.

There are many features that make it very agile and easy to manouevre in remote areas.

The current issue is climate change in the Pacific which the creation of the aircraft seeks to help serve remote communities within the Pacific Islands region through disaster relief.

Burrows says that the aircraft is very capable and is ideal for operating in our Pacific nations.

Watch the full interview with Stephen Burrows on Pacific Mornings:

Hero image: P-750 XSTOL aircraft on service in Papua New Guinea. Photo / NZ AERO

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