17 Sep 2009

The country's 1000th plane takes to the skies

4:14 pm on 17 September 2009

The 1000th aircraft built in this country has been flown in Hamilton.

The P-7-50 Xstol - retail price about $3 million - was built by Pacific Aerospace at its base near Hamilton International Airport.

The company has built 627 different aircraft in its 50-year history. Other planes built in Waikato include 334 microlights, 17 gyrocopters and 23 other light aircraft.

Pacific Aerospace says after a downturn because of the economic situation, the export market for its planes is starting to improve. Chief executive Damien Camp says the future for aircraft manufacture looks bright.

Mr Camp says the P7-50 aircraft has an extremely short take-off and landing capability, which makes it ideal for use in remote locations.