NAMPA, Idaho — Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) has teamed with Aerocet to help the float manufacturer bring its new KODIAK floats to market.
“MAF and Aerocet have had a close relationship for many years,” said John Boyd, MAF president and CEO. “They have donated floats to support our ministry work and provided discounts on cargo pods. So when they asked to use our new KODIAK to test their floats, we were happy to say ‘yes.’”
With its fleet of 136 light aircraft, Mission Aviation Fellowship provides transportation for churches, medical teams, missionaries, relief agencies and others working in the most isolated corners of the world. It flies mostly Cessna 206s and 208s, along with KODIAKs, King Airs, and a few other planes.
The carbon-composite floats were designed by Tom Hamilton and the engineering team at Aerocet. Hamilton is perhaps best known as the designer of the Quest KODIAK and the Glasair/Glastar/Sportsman airplanes.
“The KODIAK is an extremely versatile aircraft, and from the beginning it was designed with floats in mind,” said Hamilton. “With its STOL capability and cargo capacity, it makes a great floatplane.”
MAF’s KODIAK with the Aerocet floats will be on display at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in exhibit space 256, near Hangar B. A public dedication ceremony will be held there on Wednesday, July 31, at 10 a.m.
The aircraft rolled off the assembly line in June and was immediately outfitted with the new floats. Testing will take place in Renton, Washington, over the next few months. When the testing is complete, the airplane will be outfitted with wheels for its journey to Papua, Indonesia, where it will be put to work serving those who live and work in remote mountain villages.
Because avgas is very expensive and difficult to obtain in the countries where MAF serves — sometimes costing more than $15 per gallon — the organization has replaced a number of its aging piston-engine planes with KODIAKs. This is MAF’s ninth KODIAK, and its seventh to be based in Indonesia. All were purchased with gifts from donors who support MAF’s work.
“One of the aircraft we are replacing in Palangkaraya, Indonesia, is a 50-year-old Cessna 185 with about 24,000 hours and the other is 44 years old with 23,000 hours,” said Dave Rask, director of aviation resources at MAF. “They have been a real blessing to the people who live along the rivers there and depend on the airplane for transportation and delivery of supplies. They’re outfitted with Aerocet floats and we really like how they perform. They’re made of a composite material that is really slippery and fast in the water, because they have no rivets or seams. That means the airplane needs less water to get airborne.”
Aerocet has been developing the floats for the KODIAK for the past several years. Garry Hojan, president of Aerocet, explained that they based the design on their floats for the de Havilland Beaver, with modifications. Once FAA approval is received, the floats will be available to aviators by contacting Aerocet.