A group of evangelicals who are building a twin-engine airplane especially designed for missionary use are encouraged with the performance of their prototype. The plane was taken to South America this past summer and successfully tested under rugged conditions.

“The plane performed excellently,” a spokesman said. “There were no serious problems.”

The craft, known as the “Evangel,” flew between a number of mission stations in Colombia and Peru. Its first “missionary flight” was made to carry Candoshi Scriptures over 275 miles of Peruvian jungle. Passengers included missionaries, translators, government officials, tribesmen, and a gunshot victim. The plane carried cargo ranging from fifty-five-gallon drums of fuel to baskets of eggs. The only reported mishap occurred when the plane slid into a ditch at the edge of a slick, sloping runway. A damaged flap was quickly repaired.

The plane flew across the Peruvian Andes at 20,000 feet and seemed to adapt equally well to snow showers and tropical rainstorms. Takeoff ability from jungle airstrips was described as even better than expected.“Evangel” producers still are working to receive certification from the Federal Aviation Agency. Complicated structural testing is one prerequisite.

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