Manufactured in the Polskie Zakłady Lotnicze in Mielec the twin-engine turboprop M28 aircraft took off on a two-month tour of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Weighing 7,500 kg, the twin-engine turboprop aircraft during its visit in Latin America will demonstrate its ability to carry people and cargo from the underdeveloped airports, not equipped with hardened and long airfield runways, to the potential civil and military customers. The tour will begin on 17th March 2017 in Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago. Then, until mid-May, the airplane will visit 12 other cities in Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama and Mexico.
Engineers from PZL Mielec applied the last coat of paint on newly manufactured aircraft with the serial number AJE00347 and equipped it with the necessary equipment, which enables to show its ability to quickly convert into a passenger option, adapted for parachute droppings, cargo transport or evacuation of victims.
"When we compare the manoeuvrability of the M28 with its large cabin and rear door able to open also during flight, we have a clear evidence that the aircraft has the power and load weight ideal for performing a variety of missions," points out Janusz Zakręcki, President of the Board General Director of PZL Mielec. Military forces and airlines throughout Latin America and the Caribbean express great interest in diverse and unique abilities of this exceptional aircraft."
The crew of PZL Mielec planned their first stop in Denmark. Then a naval part of the trip through Scotland and Iceland will begin. On February 28th the plane will arrive in Kulusuk in Greenland with 2,164 sea miles behind and nearly 10 hours of transatlantic flight.
“Crossing the Atlantic in mid-winter in west direction is just one of the examples that this durable, reliable aircraft can handle even the toughest weather conditions," said Mariusz Kubryn, chief designer of the M28. "We estimate that by the end of the demonstration tour, the aircraft will have done 14,500 kilometres of flight over mountain ranges and oceans, taking off and landing on runways located in the jungle and on islands. It will show its ability to operate both at high and low temperatures.
" The M28 aircraft is certified by Brazilian aviation agency ANAC, EASA and the FAA, so that it can fly at temperatures ranging from minus 50 to plus 50 degrees Celsius. Hull defrosting system is certified for flights in known icing conditions.
The wings of high buoyancy, two turboprop Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-65B engines of 1,100 horsepower (820 kW) and a propeller with reverse thrust give this aircraft unique capabilities in terms of short take-off and landing. With a maximum load weight of 2,300 kg the M28 can take off and land on unpaved runways with a length of 548 meters only.