C295 demonstrates its capabilities around the world
2016 has been about showing what this market leading aircraft is capable of achieving. With over 300,000 flight hours under its belt, the C295 continues to consolidate its position as the medium size tactical airlifter of choice.
Following on from the Latin America Demo Tour of 2015, a Mexican Air Force C295W embarked on a tour of North America Tour in June 2016, covering the whole continent in collaboration with the Mexican Armed Forces, and effectively going from Antarctica to Resolute Bay in 6 months. During two weeks we were able to showcase the C295’s unique military capabilities in Canada and the United States, notably its impressive STOL performance on unpaved surfaces such as grass strips or a 2,500ft gravel runway in Kasabonika, the aerial delivery of paratroopers, and its excellent operation in extreme and remote locations such as the cold Resolute Bay, where no other aircraft in its segment has set foot so far.
The second demo tour of the year started in September and lasted 17 days, during which the C295 MPA of the Portuguese Air Force covered more than 14,000 nm, visited ten countries and circumnavigated the entire African continent: Cape Verde, Ghana, Angola, South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Ethiopia, before going on to Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Malta, and finally landing back at Montijo Air Base outside Lisbon.
The C295 MPA completed all planned demo flights and visits on schedule without any delays, demonstrating both the aircraft‘s and the Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS) capabilities with an extremely high mission availability and very low maintenance requirements. The C295 MPA also proved its Hot and High Performance capability in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), where the aircraft transited more than 700 nm, taking-off fully loaded at an altitude of 7,600 ft and ISA+23.
Meanwhile, the C295 continues to add new capabilities to its inventory, with the development of a palletized Aerial Refueling kit, converting the aircraft into a Tactical Tanker with minimum effort and in a very short timescale. This will allow the aircraft to refuel other units in Special Operations scenarios and CSAR missions or to extend the range of other turboprop aircraft when Time-On-Station is key, such as ISR or Search and Rescue missions. So far, the aircraft has already performed hook-ups with another C295 with impressive performance being reported by the operating crews highlighting its extremely low stall speed; we expect to achieve the same with a helicopter by the end of this year.
Finally the C295 is facing 2017 stronger than ever and after proudly welcoming the Bangladesh Army to its big family of operators, who will be operating the new C295W next year, the selection of the C295W for the Canadian Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue Contract confirms the C295 as the clear market leader in its class. Look out for the next Marketing Newsletter in March to read more new and exciting news on the C295, as we promise 2017 will be an interesting year for this aircraft.