The Gippsland Aeronautics GA-8 Airvan is a strut braced, high wing, fixed tricycle gear, single-engine aircraft designed for passenger and utility operations. The cabin can seat eight. The piston engine is a 300 HP fuel injected Lycoming IO-540-K1A5 driving a two-blade constant speed Hartzell propeller at up to 2700 RPM. The school's aircraft has been modified with a removable cargo pod underneath the fuselage which houses a forward looking infrared (FLIR) system. The aircraft is also modified with a weather RADAR mounted on the right wing. Controls and displays for both the FLIR and RADAR are in the cabin to facilitate flight test engineering evaluations. The aircraft is operated in the Experimental category.