Bible translation projects are underway for more than 190 of PNG’s 830 language groups but more than 300 do not yet have a single verse of Scripture.
Air travel is a vital part of Bible translation work in PNG because of the country's difficult terrain and 80% of Bible translators rely on air travel to get around the country.
Wycliffe reports that without an aircraft, reaching some language groups can take up to five days.
“The Kodiak is a critical tool to reach language groups who are crying out for God’s Word,” said president and CEO Bruce Smith, who is a former missionary pilot.
“Insurmountable mountain peaks, dense rainforests, and hard-to-reach islands in PNG make sharing the truth and hope of God’s Word time-consuming and extremely difficult.”
The Kodiak has been developed by the Quest Aircraft Company in Idaho with missionary work in mind.
The aircraft can take off in under 1,000 feet at full gross weight and climb at more than 1,300 feet a minute.
It carries more than three times the load than other planes previously used for mission work and uses jet fuel, which is less expensive and more readily available in PNG than avgas.