Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, and its PZL Mielec affiliate will launch a two-month, 13-city tour across seven Caribbean and Latin American countries in early 2017 to demonstrate the short take-off and landing capabilities of the M-28 twin turboprop aircraft.
That was reported by www.xairforces.com.
Flight and ground demonstrations starting mid-March in Trinidad and Tobago will extend to Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama and Mexico though mid-May. The tour will enable commercial operators, government agencies and militaries across the region to assess the performance of the 7,500 kg (16,500 lb.) Polish designed-and-built M28 airplane on short and underdeveloped runways — and how its 19-passenger cabin with clamshell rear door can be quickly converted for paratroop, cargo and casualty evacuation missions.
“When you have to move people or cargo into short, unpaved or underdeveloped airstrips with austere facilities, and under hot or icing conditions, the M-28 twin turboprop airplane is ideally suited for the Caribbean and Latin America,” said Adam Schierholz, Sikorsky vice president for Latin America. “We are bringing this reliable and powerful aircraft to show prospective operators its extraordinary short takeoff and landing capabilities, and the many ways to benefit from its exceptional range, payload capacity and multirole flexibility.”
With its high-lift wing, thrust-reversing propellers and two 1,100 shp (820 kW) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-65B turboprop engines:
- the empty M28 aircraft can take off and land on rough airstrips just 345 meters (1,000 ft.) long.
- an M28 loaded with a 1,000 kg (2,204 lb.) payload offers a range of 1,592 km (860 nm) distance with safety reserve for 45 minutes of flight; two pilots can take off in the M28 with a full payload of either 19 seated passengers or a maximum 2,300 kg (5,000 lb) of cargo in just 548 meters (1,800 ft.) of runway length, for a range of over 450 kilometers (225 nm).
- the 148m3 (485 cu ft.) cabin can be outfitted with a removable roller floor, optional cargo hoist, and heavy cargo restraints to either para drop or load/unload cargo from the full-width aft door.
Sikorsky will invite commercial operators, government organizations, law enforcement agencies and military aviation commanders to observe the M28 in action, and to examine the highly configurable aircraft in a wide variety of operational and logistical roles.
“The M28 is a proven, tough airplane that doesn’t need much support to keep flying,” said Mariusz Kubryn, M28 chief designer. “It has the highest useful load in its class, and is often preferred to larger platforms because of its multi-mission flexibility and cost-effective performance.”
More than 100 M28 aircraft currently operate worldwide in both commercial and military configurations providing passenger transport, parachute training, border patrol and fisheries protection. The aircraft is certified by Brazil’s ANAC, and by EASA and the FAA. The U.S. Air Force has used the C-145A variant for air cargo missions for deployed troops in Afghanistan.