Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) recently took delivery of its first Kodiak 100, the first of the next-generation bush planes to be produced under an arrangement between the ministry and the manufacturer, Quest Aircraft Co. of Sandpoint, Idaho.
MAF is a faith-based, nonprofit ministry that serves missions and isolated people around the world with aviation, communications and learning technologies.
The new Kodiak 100, which will be dedicated in a public ceremony at MAF headquarters in Nampa, Idaho, May 2, will go on a multi-city tour this summer, prior to being ferried to Papua, Indonesia, the aircraft’s destination of service.
“Aviation, in the minds of many, is the heart and soul of reaching the unreached peoples of the world,” said John Boyd, president and chief executive officer of MAF-USA. “Missionary aircraft can take people into areas where there are no roads. They can deliver food, medicines and other supplies when roads are impassible.
“This KODIAK – the ‘first fruit’ of our collaborative commitment – is an amazing dream come true,” he continued.
One of the many benefits of the Kodiak 100 addresses the shortage and high cost of avgas in many areas where MAF operates. Unlike the Cessna 206 (C206), which makes up the bulk of the MAF fleet, the Kodiak runs on jet fuel, which is in great supply and considerably cheaper than avgas. Over the next few years, MAF will replace 20 of its Cessna 206s with planes that operate on jet fuel, either KODIAK 100s or Cessna Caravans.
About 11 years ago, MAF and Quest formulated an arrangement to raise funds and provide seed money to make the development of the Kodiak 100 possible. Profits from the commercial sales of the Kodiak 100 will subsidize a portion of the cost of each 11th airplane produced, which will be delivered to participating not-for-profit Christian and humanitarian aviation organizations. MAF is receiving the first plane under this arrangement.
“Quest Aircraft was founded to provide a rugged, backcountry aircraft for remote operations for mission aviation organizations around the world on an ‘at cost’ basis,” said Paul Schaller, president and chief executive officer of Quest. “The delivery of serial number SN0011 to MAF is the first of many of these aircraft dedicated to helping mankind and spreading the Gospel.”
Other mission aviation groups that joined MAF in committing funds to the Quest startup include Air Serv International, New Tribes Mission, Wycliffe Bible Translators JAARS, Mercy Air South Africa, Zululand Mission Air Transport, Misio’n Padamo, Project AmaZon, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Adventist World Aviation, Flying Mission, Moody Bible Institute, Samaritan Aviation, Arctic Barnabas Ministries, Christian Light Foundation and Asas de Socorro.