Gippsland GA-200 Fatman
The Fatman was developed to improve on the PA-25 Pawnee by Peter Furlong and George Morgan. Gippsiand Aeronautics began to rework the original Piper concept in 1983 and today only three components have commonality with the old familiar design - interchangeable lift struts, undercarriage legs and engine mounts. Originally flying on a Pawnee Supplementary Type Certificate, after some fifteen interim prototypes the GA-200 achieved a type certificate of its own.
Built and tested to FAR 23 specs, the 260 hp Lycoming 0-540 powered GA-200 can haul a genuine 1500 cwt off and onto some confined spaces.
The GA-200 featured a kevlar 180 litre fuselage fuel tank, however the company was offering an inboard (223 litre) wing fuel system as well as a further option with both fuselage and wing tanks, providing a six and a half hour endurance. No parts of the fuel system are installed forward of the firewall with the exception of the carburetor.
All metal wings house fuel tanks with fuel gauges mounted in the wings. Normal tank venting is outboard on the wings. The leading edge of each wing is made of five nonstructural sections. Both wings have airscoops that pressurise both wings and fuselage to keep fertiliser dust out and eliminate the possibility of spray contamination. The bottom rudder slants up so - in the event that a tailspring breaks - the rudder will not sustain damage. The undercarriage is not the same as a Pawnee, having been beefed up using Fletcher mainwheels and the safety straps are now top mounted. The top leg attachment bolts are easily accessible from the outside of the airframe. The fuselage is of welded 4130 chrome moly steel tube - the high wear and tear area where the hopper outlet is fitted being of stainless steel. The hopper outlet is unique - the same base is used for both spray or solids, and doesn’t detract from aircraft performance or dump capability. The header tank features its own sight glass right in front of the pilot and holds enough fuel for about 15 minutes.
Fitted with two seats, the GA-200 has a superficial resemblance to its older brother but is in fact both shorter and wider. Engineered out of the design are the cooling problems common to the Pawnee and the 1930s vintage rag wing aerofoil. The fabric covered steel tube fuselage and all metal winged aircraft is fitted with an 800 litre hopper and has been designed and built to be extremely "fieldworthy".
Federal Aviation Administration Type Acceptance Certificate No.98/14 was granted to the GA200C in the Restricted Category on 9 September 1998 at the original maximum take-off weight of 1315 kg. Type acceptance at the increased MCTOW of 1524 kg was granted on 17 February 1999, based on validation of CASA Certificate of Type Approval number 83-6.
The GA200C is a development of the original GA200 at the instigation of the NZ agent. It has a larger volumetric capacity hopper (1050 litres), and associated with that a revised fuselage structure and a fuel injected 300 hp engine with constant speed propeller. The GA200C incorporates the Option 1 extended wing tips as standard and has a modified fuel system with gravity fed sump tank. Initially certification was achieved at the same weights as for the GA200 and at the same 250 hp in the standard category. Gippsland subsequently certificated the GA200C at a higher weight and with a slight increase in structural speeds. (To provide for the possible installation of an IO-580 engine.) The changed airworthiness limitations were originally going to be applied to a proposed GA200C-1 model, but that designation has now been dropped.
The GA200C Type Certificate Holder since Revision 9 dated 08.08.2006: GA200 Pty Ltd.
The last production example of the GA200 Series was serial number 200C-0345.
Engine: Lycoming O-540-A1D5, 250 hp.
Prop: McAulay fixed pitch.
Hopper cap: 800 lt.
Engine: 250 hp.
Engine: Lycoming IO-540-K1A5, 300 hp or
Lycoming IO-540-K1C5 modified in accordance with Edge Aviation EO No. EA001001 Issue 3
Propeller: Hartzell HC-C2YR-1BF/F8475R
MCTOW 1524 kg (3360 lb.)
Max. No. of Seats: 2
Hopper cap: 1000 lt.