The Kodiak

By on November 24, 2005

In yesterday’s mail was a flyer from Wycliffe Bible Translators, and tucked deep inside it was a little card telling about a new aircraft called the Kodiak. The Kodiak is a 10-seat, single-engine turboprop plane developed by Quest Aircraft, specifically for use in the not-so-nice places of the world.

From the very beginning our underlying purpose at Quest has been to design and manufacture an aircraft specifically suited to the needs of humanitarian organizations which provide access to otherwise isolated peoples in the most geographically challenging regions of the world. These organizations are in dire need of a modern backcountry aircraft featuring the advantages of STOL performance, rugged construction, turbine power, and high useful loads.

For us it’s not about the time between takeoff and landing. We are far more motivated by the time spent between landing and takeoff. What really matters to us is where the KODIAK will take you, what it enables you to do once you get there, and its ability to get you in and out of tight places safely.

For years, missions & humanitarian organizations have used piston-engined aircraft for bush operations. But in recent years it’s become increasingly difficult and expensive to get avgas in many areas of the world. The Kodiak’s Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34 engine uses jet fuel instead, which is much more plentiful.

The Kodiak is built for the rugged use it will see, and with a power to weight ratio that will give it good short runway performance. I wonder, though, whether having a turboprop aircraft in the field, with its more sophisticated mechanicals, will require a higher level of support than has been required by earlier piston-engined aircraft. I’ve known a few JAARS pilots over the years, and they have traditionally been trained as both pilots and airframe mechanics. I guess that may change.

One obstacle to deploying the Kodiak is its price; base price is $1,111,000. Wycliffe is currently trying to raise money to buy 10 Kodiaks (at $1.3 million each) for use in six different countries. And from what I saw in my Google searches looking for information on the Kodiak, other non-profits are soliciting funds for them as well. Might be a good place to invest some end-of-the-year cash and get a bit of a tax deduction as well.

Also, for you code-heads, there are some neat scrolling features going on when you click on one of the locations on the Kodiak Story link. At least I hadn’t seen that particular trick before.



  1. Wow, my previous comment about not particularly wanting to be converted got erased. I thought this was a tech blog, and not a sect blog. Would the site-owner care to post an FAQ on exactly which ethnic demographic it caters to?

  2. Wow, my previous comment about not particularly wanting to be converted got erased.

    It got erased because it had ZERO to do with the post. It was attack on Christianity, and had nothing to do with the plane that the post was talking about.

    Not only that, but you put a quote in the comment that wasn’t even in the post. You essentially went somewhere else, found a quote that suited you, then put it in your comment and attacked it.

    The first comment sets the tone for all that follow. You’re making it hard for people to discuss a new kind of plane.

    As you said, this is a tech blog. Stick with the tech.

  3. Attack on Christianity? Are you paranoid? I was commenting about the proselytization aspect of the article and not against any religion — why the heck are you promoting proselytization along with tech? What’s next — articles featuring newer ways to seek out mail-order brides using broadband? I feel it’s beyond the pale. I’m a regular visitor to this site, and I’ve never seen this before. If you say you’re about tech, then you’re the one who needs to pay more attention to sticking to tech. And to think I regularly email links to my friends on your articles — what a sucker I am. Very disappointed.

  4. Perhaps I was rash in calling your orginal comment an “attack.” But you have to admit, it was pretty snarky.

    As for “promoting proselytization,” there are two references in the article to what the plane is being used for:

    1. the item Dave received in the mail
    2. the fact that Dave knows some bush pilots from a Bible translation organization

    Dave mentioned how he found information about the plane, and he mentioned that he knows some people personally that have experience with flying into and out of remote locations — the very thing this plane is designed to do. Both of these things are utterly relevant to the post.

    Everything else in the post is about the plane. Absolutely NONE of the above amounts to “promoting proselytization.” Zero. Nada. Zilch. We’re talking about a plane here.

    The plane could just as easily have been used to spread nerve gas. The only reason it wouldn’t have made the site in that case is that Dave isn’t on the mailing lists of any nerve gas charities.

    Was it the appeal for donations that upset you? When Dave made that comment, it was immediately after this sentence:

    And from what I saw in my Google searches looking for information on the Kodiak, other non-profits are soliciting funds for them as well.

    “Non profits” encompass a lot of things. I haven’t looked, so I don’t know for sure, but I’m quite sure a lot of these organizations are secular.

    I suppose that we could have removed the links to the organizations that were using the plane? Would that have been better? Is it the hyperlinks that have upset you?

    Should we not link to anything that’s being used for Christian purposes? Or could potential be used as such?

    And just so we’re clear, there are seven authors of this site. I know personally that at least five of them — myself included — are born again, evangelical Christians. Does this make us less worthy of your patronage?

    For the record, I read Boing Boing — a blog that is pretty far removed from my personal beliefs. I read Kottke too, and he tells people right on his site that he’s an atheist. I may not agree with their beliefs, but I take what I can from what they publish and leave the rest.

    I appreciate all our readers, I really do. If I upset you by deleting the comment, I’m sorry, but it was going to kick off this thread as a debate about religion — a trap we’ve apparently fallen into anyway.

  5. I’m a regular visitor to this site, and I’ve never seen this before.

    You can’t be too regular here or you would have already been offended by numerous other articles that start out with backgrounds in dealing with church related issues. Topics such as setting up a church site as a simple CMS or a way to manage church or group memberships via software, etc. To me, the references just add background information to put the article in context.

    Sounds like you need to take a few minutes to read the Terms of Service. You’ll find some good information there to help you with your hang-ups. I’ve been coming around to Gadgetopia for a long time and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a manifesto that stated this is a technology-only site. As a matter of fact, under Purpose of Gadgetopia:

    Gadgetopia exists to (1) provide interesting content that Visitors like to read, and (2) allow Visitors to take part in a discussion by reading and adding comments.

    There are numerous articles here that are only vaguely associated with tech. I visit the site because I like the value-add editorials provided by the editors about the topics they have chosen to write about.

    Most importantly, under the What You Agree to Understand About Posts

    Additionally, there are biases and preferences among the staff of Gadgetopia. People like different things, and any comments, opinions, or recommendations made on this site are subject to those biases and preferences.

    The editors are completely within their right to write about whatever suits them with whatever bias they want. You also are completely within your right to whine about some supposed transgression. However, the editors are under no obligation to slant their editorials to suit your particular belief system or to attempt to neuter their content so as to not offend anyone.

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