GA8 Airvan in Photos

From behind the control wheel, the GA Airvan is undoubtedly a great flying airplane.

The cockpit of the GA8 Airvan is all business, with oversized control pedestals, a humongous trim wheel, large power console levers, and plenty of room for additional gear. The avionics are a high-end off-the-shelf solution, with an Aspen PFD and Garmin multifunction navigators.
Everything about the GA8 Airvan is intended to be simple, strong and field-serviceable. Controls are big and beefy, with control columns reminiscent of those you’d find in a Boeing. The effect is a big, roomy and comfortable cockpit that lets pilots get the job done.
The beautiful tail of the beast was crafted to optimize the GA Airvan's flying manners.
The tail of the GA8 Airvan is mounted high, to clear cattle fences, says designer Georges Morgan. With its sleek design and jet-like configuration, the tail seems out of place on the otherwise decidedly piston-level Airvan. The horizontal stabilizer, for example, is trimmable, a feature seldom found on light airplanes; the design choice helped the GA8 pass rigorous Part 23 stability standards, resulting in a great slow-flying airplane.
Getting back to the big airplane feel, the GA8 Airvan actually has a substantial overhead panel. While overheads are bad in general for pilot ease-of-use, this one has mostly pre-flight, shutdown or emergency use switches, mostly electrical, along with numerous breakers. There’s even a handy map light along the left side.
Light and beefy is what the GA8 Airvan is all about, and the door handle exemplifies those priorities. A simple bent rod that latches and unlatches the light yet good-fitting door, this little components speaks volumes about where the GA8 began and where it’s ended.
You shouldn’t expect bizjet luxury in an airplane like the GA8 Airvan, which is good, because you don’t get it. You do, however, get seats that are comfortable enough, and surprisingly cool. Most importantly, they meet the FAA’s latest Part 23 crashworthiness standards.
Getting stuff in and out of the airplane is easy, thanks to a huge barn-style sliding side door. Of course, the GA8 is perfect for use as a jump plane too.
The GA8 Airvan is all about payload and capacity. The seating is comfortable enough, but it’s mainly utilitarian. The seats pop out easily to accommodate gear or freight.
The GA8 Airvan is available with a choice of Lycoming gas-piston power plants, a normally aspirated 300 hp model or, shown here, the turbocharged TSIO-540-AH1A.
Even the GA8 Airvan's steerable nosewheel tells a tale. With no oleo strut to break or require service, the beefy mechanism does its job in workmanlike fashion.
**For more, read our GA8 Airvan feature story.
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