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Our Planes

Our Aircraft Fleet

When it comes to reaching the isolated, MAF planes need to be able to land on some of the toughest airstrips in the world. We've chosen the best tools for the job; find out here about the aircraft in our fleet.

Cessna 206

  • Up to 5 passengers / 400kg supplies

  • Cruising speed 140mph

  • Brazil, DRC, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Lesotho, Mexico, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda

The Cessna 206 is a nimble and durable aircraft that can take off and land from short, rugged airstrips, allowing MAF to support communities which are very hard to reach.

Its piston-powered single engine (Continental IO-520-F or IO-550-Bon) produces 300hp and drives a three-bladed propeller.

All our 206s have been modified to suit the environments in which they fly.

Each has been retrofitted with a brace in the windshield area to reinforce the airframe, STOL (short take-off and landing) capability, shoulder harnesses for all seat positions, heavy duty nose gear to withstand the rough airstrips, emergency locator transmission, High Frequency radio, and GPS receiver, improving safety standards and performance.

Flint tanks at the end of the wings add an extra 55 litres to each of the 2 fuel tanks, giving 2 hours of extra range, and making a total endurance for normal operations of 8 hours.

These alterations lengthen the wings, enabling the aircraft to fly more slowly, causing increased lift, and giving the ability to land with a slower speed. Take-off and landing roll is decreased, which is vital on short runways, especially those high in the mountains with obstacles at the end. A large cargo pod installed underneath the plane allows more freight to be carried.

Bulky and heavy cargo can be loaded easily through the large double door at the rear. For medevac flights, this large door allows patients on a stretcher to be loaded and transported to hospital.

Its durability and ability to land on rugged airstrips makes it ideally suited for operations in Africa. MAF pilots have referred to the 206 as ‘a real workhorse’.

Cessna 208 Caravan

  • Up to 13 passengers / 1150kg supplies

  • Cruising speed 170mph

  • Angola, Arnhem Land, Madagascar, Mareeba, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, Uganda

The Cessna 208 Caravan has become the backbone of MAF’s fleet and provides a great combination of range, capacity and flexibility.

The simple design and construction, along with a reliable Pratt and Whitney turbine engine which runs on Jet fuel, combine to keep maintenance time and costs to a minimum.

To suit rough airstrips, the Caravans are fitted with sturdy landing gear, larger tyres, mud flaps, rubber scraper for the nose tyre, and slighter longer nose gear to help prevent mud and rocks from being thrown into the propeller when landing.

Fully equipped for instrument flying, with GPS, weather radar and Stormscope, the Caravan is reliable and can still operate safely in more challenging conditions such as storms or during the rainy season.

The large cabin can fit 13 passengers or be adapted to carry bulky items such as timber, prefabricated doors, corrugated iron sheets, fuel drums, and even motorbikes. Cargo pods fitted underneath the plane ease loading of freight, and mean dangerous goods such as fuel can be carried without endangering the passengers in the cabin.

MAF also operates the larger Cessna 208B Grand Caravan which has a more powerful engine, a longer airframe, a bigger cargo pod, higher maximum take-off weight and a longer range, albeit with a slightly slower cruise speed.

Cessna 182 SMA

  • Up to 3 passengers / 270kg supplies

  • Cruising speed 138mph

  • Angola, Chad, Madagascar, Mareeba, South Sudan

Our Cessna 182 aircraft are modified with an innovative SMA (SR305-230) turbo-charged engine which burns Jet A1 fuel.

This is crucial as the scarcity and skyrocketing cost of Avgas has endangered the continued use of our Cessna 206 aircraft.

The Cessna 182 SMA carries up to three passengers with a cruising speed of around 120 knots. Although it is smaller than the 206, it has a greater range of up to 8 hours.

Turbo-charged, though acting like a normally aspirated engine, it also has excellent short take-off performance. To cope with rough airstrips, over-sized tyres have been fitted and the undercarriage strengthened.

Other modifications include folding rear seats to improve load-carrying flexibility, and a new HF radio, GPS and Stormscope systems to improve communications, navigation and safety.

Being lightweight and economic, the aircraft is opening up fresh opportunities to help small teams reach remote communities in a far more cost-effective way than our larger Cessna 208 Caravan. It can also be used in medical emergency flights.

Gippsland GA8 Airvan

  • Up to 7 passengers / 500kg supplies

  • Cruising speed 140mph

  • Arnhem Land, Mareeba, Suriname, Timor-Leste

Versatile and spacious, the GA8 Airvan is ideal for rugged terrain and the gruelling conditions in which MAF operates.

If you have to land on a rough runway, this is the aircraft you want to be sitting in.

With a spacious cabin and greater cargo pod capacity, and all the STOL (short take-off and landing) capabilities needed for short bush airstrips, the Airvan is ideal for the rugged terrain where we operate. It can take off to clear a height of over 15m in only 500m, with a landing distance of 370m.

Our pilots often have to stop at several airstrips throughout the day. With more space available for cargo, the load can be separated for different airstrips, allowing fast and efficient turnaround on the ground. The roomier cabin in the Airvan also makes the journey more comfortable for passengers.

For pilots, the Airvan is ideal for flying in all terrains. MAF Pilot Paul Woodington says, ‘Passengers enjoy the seating layout with a centre aisle which makes it easy to get in and out of the aircraft. The pod is roomy and allows easy loading and unloading of cargo, as does the cargo space at the back of the cabin. The controls are nice and light and it makes flying easy and a pleasure. Although not highly powered it manages a good load out of many remote airstrips.’

Quest Kodiak 100

  • Up to 9 passengers / 1219kg supplies

  • Cruising speed 212mph

  • Kalimantan, Papua, USA

Power and manoeuvrability combine in the Kodiak 100, the next-generation mission aircraft. Developed by Quest, the aircraft is designed to meet the challenges of mission aviation flying.

The Kodiak is a single-engined turbine aircraft, capable of up to 750hp during take-off. This remarkable plane can use the same short, challenging airstrips as the Cessna 206 while transporting twice the cargo.

Utilising Jet fuel, rather than expensive and increasingly scarce Avgas, makes the Kodiak more cost-effective than our Avgas-powered aircraft. The plane also boasts a cruising speed of 212mph.

Our Kodiak 100 aircraft are based in Indonesia. Because of Indonesia’s mountainous terrain and short airstrips, the Kodiak is an ideal tool to bring physical care and spiritual hope to remote communities.

Donate to keep our MAF Planes flying!

Day in the Life of a Pilot

Follow along with pilot Daniel Perez in Papua, Indonesia as he shows you what a day in the life of an MAF pilot is like.


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