MAF currently operates the GA8 Airvan in Arnhem Land, Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste. Designed to fill the gap between the Cessna 206 and the 208 Caravan, the high wing, single engine Airvan, equipped with a IO-540 Lycoming piston engine, carries up to 7 passengers or 500 kg of supplies, and cruises at a speed of 140 mph.
With a much larger cabin, greater cargo pod capacity and STOL (short takeoff and landing) capabilities needed for short bush airstrips, the Airvan is ideal for the rugged terrain of Papua New Guinea (PNG).
In PNG, pilots often have to stop at several airstrips throughout the day. With more space available for cargo, the load can be separated for different airstrips, allowing fast and efficient turnaround on the ground. The roomier cabin in the Airvan also makes the journey more comfortable for passengers.
In times of emergency, the Airvan is long and wide enough to fit a stretcher and still be able to keep a row of seats for the medical staff looking after the patient. The additional space also enables better access to the patient during transport.
The GA8 is used extensively for church, medical, educational and community development flights.