The optimized Kodiak is the first of the model delivered in France.
Among the capabilities required in a good jump plane? The ability to carry a full stick of skydivers, and take them to altitude as quickly as possible—and return to base just as fast for another load. The Kodiak 100 has applied for this mission, with its healthy cabin capacity and a time-to-climb to 12,000 feet of roughly 9 minutes, and 30 seconds, according to Daher.
Daher marks its first delivery of a Kodiak to a French customer with the acquisition of one by Héli-Béarn, based at the Pau-Pyrenées Airport in southwestern France. With the Kodiak, Héli-Béarn anticipates being able to turn four loads of skydivers per hour—and the sliding door makes their egress simple.
Héli-Béarn CEO Jean-Luc Dartiailh said of the Kodiak, “It is modern, safe, easy to maintain and efficient. With an operating cost 25 percent lower than aircraft currently in service, the Kodiak is the ideal solution to take over from an aging fleet of skydiving platforms.” In addition to flying skydivers, the company provides transport and other aerial work in its fleet of airplanes and rotorcraft. Héli-Béarn already utilizes a TBM 700 in its portfolio.
“The Kodiak’s introduction in France marks another expansion of the global customer base for this highly capable airplane,” stated Nicolas Chabbert, senior vice president of Daher’s Aircraft Division, and the CEO of Kodiak Aircraft. Daher acquired Kodiak’s assets in 2019.