The early summer tour of Latin America and the Caribbean by a single M28 twin turbo prop aircraft has stimulated significant customer interest. As a direct result, the team at PZL Mielec, is preparing to deliver detailed proposals to more than 20 prospective new customers, representing both commercial and military operators.
“The majority of our new business proposals address a specific need to carry both passengers and cargo into unprepared landing strips, including airfield in challenging high altitude locations,” said Janusz Zakrecki, President and General Director, PZL Mielec.
“The very high level of interest following customer evaluation flights in 12 Caribbean and Latin America locations verifies our belief that even in today’s highly competitive market the M28 has the right mix of power, cabin versatility and structural strength to meet a broad range of transport requirements.”
More than half of the expressions of interest are from private transport companies and regional airlines, including government agencies such as police forces. The remainder are from military operators.
The PZL Mielec team will be attending next week’s MSPO defence exhibition in Kielce, where another of its products, the S-70i Black Hawk, will be central to parent company Lockheed Martin’s indoor and outdoor exhibits.
The variant on display at MSPO will represent a typical search and rescue and MEDEVAC configuration, similar to that used to address humanitarian disasters and significant weather events such as the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey, in the United States.
Earlier this week, PZL Mielec announced its involvement in the manufacture of new firefighting variants of the flexible Black Hawk to meet an urgent requirement from Los Angeles County in California.
Interest in procuring Polish built Black Hawk helicopters remains high in Central and Eastern Europe with delegations from a number of countries including Czech Republic. Hungary, Lithuania and Romania visiting PZL Mielec recently. If the Polish government selects Black Hawk, it could lead to success with a number of regional neighbours and others.
Lockheed Martin’s 182m2 indoor exhibit at MSPO features a solution to Poland’s Homar programme that is being offered in partnership with Polish Armaments Group (PGZ), an F-35 cockpit demonstrator, a range of precision munitions including HELLFIRE II and Javelin, the world's premier shoulder-fired anti-armor system.
A global technology leader, Lockheed Martin directly employs 1,700 Polish workers at PZL Mielec as well as indirectly sustaining more than 5,000 others in supply chain partners, many of them based in Poland’s Aviation Valley.
Lockheed Martin will be located in Hall E, stand 39 at MSPO, with a separate outdoor exhibit featuring an operational S-70i Black Hawk, flown in for the occasion.
The ability of the M28 airplane cabin to carry a mix of paratroop seats, passenger seats, medical litters and a manual cargo hoist attracted considerable attention from commercial and military operators.