Thursday, November 1, 2007
Diesel Maule: Alternative Energy For The Boondocks
One of America’s oldest, and too often forgotten, aircraft manufacturers introduces its answer to the ever-tightening supply of avgas
Maule hopes to certify the M-9-230 diesel at 2,800 pounds gross on wheels, and the airplane on display at this year’s Oshkosh AirVenture had a redesigned wing root section and tougher main landing gear to accommodate the higher weight. When the M-9-230 is certified some time next year, Maule hopes to offer a greater than 1,000-pound useful load for a 430-pound payload after full fuel. Like most previous Maules, the M-9-230 is a master of utility, with four doors to feed five seats or a quick-change option that allows pulling the aft seats to open up a large cargo area.
The target price for the new Maule M-9-230 diesel is $250,000, and it’s a safe bet there will be a number of takers. Many bush operators who fly a variety of aircraft ranging from Helios and Twin Otters to Maules will probably be delighted to stock their outlying strips with a single type of fuel. Similarly, there are also a number of places in the world where avgas may be simply unavailable. It’s already happening in certain parts of the South Pacific.
As one of the least known general aviation manufacturers, Maule continues to turn out tough, little, go-anywhere taildraggers and nosedraggers designed to endure in places where other airplanes would fear to roll a tread. The M-9-230 adds use of jet fuel to the Maule’s many other talents.
SPECS: Maule M-9-230 Diesel
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