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A new aircraft could revolutionize missionary aviation.

By March 10, 2005

USA (MNN) — Quest Aircraft isn’t a well-known company, but it could be the buzz for missionary aviation in the months and years to come. With the help of some of the major missionary aviation organizations, Quest has designed a new aircraft that will make that ministry even more helpful when it comes to serving missionaries or providing relief.

It’s called the Kodiak, a 10-seater, single engine, turbo prop that can fly more cargo, more people and it won’t cost as much. Mission Avaiation Fellowship is so excited about the plane they’ve already put down payments on eight Kodiaks. MAF’s Kevin Swanson. “The Cessna has been the backbone of our fleet for probably 40 years. But, there’s a changing world out there. One of the primary things that we’re seeing changing (is) the fuel that they use is less and less available in the underdeveloped parts of the world and that of course you know is where God has called us to serve.”

MAF is currently paying $9 to $14 (USD) a gallon for fuel. But, the Kodiak uses jet fuel, which is more readily available and much cheaper.

The biggest question is, will they need longer runways to support these new planes? Swanson says, “The beauty of this thing is it is designed to take off and land in the same length airstrip that the Cessna 206 will. So, the same strips that we’re using to service churches and mission and medical and educational users around the world are going to service us with the Kodiak, but we’ll be able to take twice as much in every load.”

According to Swanson the vision for the plane actually started at MAF through “former and current MAF people who got together with some folks in the aviation design and development industry who love the Lord and wanted to see this thing happen. The Quest people have sought that input. So, this airplane is really designed specifically for the type of work that God has called us to do.”

The cost of each aircraft is about $1-million. Quest is currently seeking FAA certification of the Kodiak. It’s already flown more than 50 flights.

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