The Falco XL
The Falco XL concept came about in October 2009 when a standard Pacific Aerospace XL750 was trialed by Farmers Air's Andy Stevenson and Andrew Hogarth. Although Farmers Air were very happy with their well maintained fleet of Cresco's they needed to start looking for a replacement aircraft as the Cresco was no longer in production and therefore obsolete. With a long term relationship with its farming clientele, they needed an aircraft that would maintain this relationship for the future. Although the factory XL750 had all the right flight characteristics and Pacific Aerospace a proven record of manufacturing ideal agricultural aircraft for New Zealand (they produced the Fletcher and Cresco), it needed to become "New Zealand's Biggest Loser" and shed some weight. So in December 2009 design work started to produce a light weight hopper with more volume, a streamlined lightweight cowl and improved intake air filtration.
Pilot comfort is also very important with more leg room, quieter cockpit, better protection from the sun and better ergonomics makes for a less fatigued pilot, which is a safer pilot. Farmers Air managed to reduce the Falco's gross empty weight by 100kgs over the standard factory aircraft which offers increased performance. Less weight=more lift, this may not sound like a lot but a 100kgs over 100 takeoffs in a day is 10 ton. Less fuel burn= less carbon emissions, so the Falco XL is cleaner and greener.
This project was fully funded by Farmers Air Ltd and received New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority STC (Supplemental Type Certification) approval in 2012. We would like to thank our contractors Flight Structures, Aeromotive, Composites International, Av Parts and Pacific Aerospace Limited for their professional services to the project.
- This aircraft loves to climb with a load on its back, 800ft/min fully loaded
- Large hopper opening, so no spillage in the loading area, so your precious fertiliser dollar ends up where it should be, in the paddock
- TracMap GPS equipped
- Spidertracks flight following for exact aircraft location in case of emergency
- This aircraft is low maintenance going from inspection to inspection with minimal unplanned breakdowns
- New Zealand made, Gisborne designed
- 3000 litre hopper capacity
- 2200 kilogram payload
- 135 knot cruise speed
- 4 hous fuel endurance
- Powered by Pratt&Whitney PT6-34AG turbine engine producing 750shp
(considered the worlds safest and most reliable engine ever)
- Redesigned lower cowl with high flow engine filter
- Hydraulic gatebox for greater accuracy of product and reduced pilot workload
- More comfortable cockpit, which means less fatigue and a safer pilot
- Short field take off and landing performance
- Low weight foot print on grass airstrips, less airstrip damage because of oleo undercarriage
- Full factory airframe support, parts come from Hamilton, NZ not America or Europe so the aircraft is back in the air sooner providing a better service to our clients
- Farmers Air has over 100,000 hrs of type experience allowing us to utilise our aircraft to their maximum ability