Friday, September 18, 2009

We got up crazy early last week and headed west, taking some people to do some things, likely involving money. That part is normal, but after we landed I saw an airplane type I had never seen before, so I got the video camera out. I bet Aviatrix would have more info on some of the unique features I observed on the aircraft. Strange little bird! I mean the plane, not Aviatrix ;)

Go full-screen and click on the red HD button in the video player for hi-def yumminess.

The aircraft certainly has a 'unique' look (I'm being kind) but looks aren't everything and as it turns out this airplane has some pretty good performance figures, considering what it was designed to do.

A quick online search shows the aircraft is a PAC 750XL. It was initially designed for skydiving - the website says it can take off in less than a thousand feet, climb to 13,000', chuck the jumpers out and land, all in 16 minutes. Actually, the performance figures on the plane are pretty impressive - it only weights 3,100 lbs and can carry a load of 4,400 lbs, more than twice the empty weight. Not many aircraft have that capability. For comparison, even though we have a high-gross-weight takeoff kit installed on our jet, our baby jet's empty weight is 8840 lbs, leaving us a useful load of about 6,000 lbs. On a regular Citation II the useful load is more like 4,800 lbs with about a 8700 lb empty weight.

Anyhoo, Google also tells me that UTS Geophysics is owned by a Canadian company called Aeroquest International Ltd. I wonder why it came over from New Zealand and where it's going? That must have been a series of pretty interesting flights.


Blake said...

I wonder if the HF antennas were to help with that trans-pacific flight!

Anonymous said...

I believe the extension aft from the tail is an MAD, magnetic anomoly detector. At least the P-3C Orions that used to be based nearby at Moffett had 'em and look proportionally the same.

The P-3s hunt for subs, and the MAD detects big chunks of metal.

But "Geophysics" I believe is code for "oil exploration". Or yeah, maybe minerals that are, duh, metallic ;-)

Cool post!


tec_64 said...

Yup. My guess is minerals too. Sulako . . . you've flown enough around Northern Ontario in your "earlier" days to have seen other acft with mag anom detectors, fixed and rotary. But this acft (at Brandon mb????) is very unique. Nice catch!

tec_64 said...

Or was it at WPG? (Thanks to I can creep ur ride hehehehe... j/k.


Anonymous said...

I used to fly skydivers with the PAC 750XL, Great plane to fly, I really enjoyed it!

Aaron Martin said...

It came over from New Zealand because they are built here. It is based on the Cresco, a top dressing aircraft, they are basically the truck of the skies.

Seneca said...

There is an interesting story connected to this aircraft: there was a ditching on one of the first ferry flights from New Zealand to the US, tragically killing the pilot. See

for more details.

Best regards from a fond reader in Europe!