Although the M28 was already showcased during its ferry flight with very recent stops in Dallas during the HAI HELI-EXPO and two other States in the US, Tennessee and Florida, where the aircraft was presented to the oil and gas companies and passenger/cargo carries, this was the official first stop of the Latin American Demo Tour.
The aircraft has been met with overwhelming enthusiasm by the audience which has also generated additional new last minute attendees. Overall the turn-up and interest to view the M28 exceeded our expectations and we felt very welcomed by the local authorities with extremely professional and friendly support for the event. Within the three full days, the M28 was able to perform five demo flights to the south part of the Trinidad Island and as requested by some of the potential clients to the island of Tobago. The event days were also filled with onsite presentations of the aircraft and static display walk rounds which allowed for detailed familiarization with aircraft on site. In summary approximately 50 attendees from several intuitions, governmental representatives and companies had a chance to learn more about the M28 and experience its performance in flight.
The most likely configurations for the local market would be the passenger/cargo transport between the islands - especially Trinidad to Tobago. Additionally the M28 can be considered to operate within the vicinity of the Caribbean Islands up to approximately 480 NM with 18/19 passages which allows for great flexibility. This can be also associated with having the aircraft reconfigure from passenger to cargo or combi version during the operation with very little effort during the stops. The second most likely type of configuration which was looked at, is the MPA and SAR, the aircraft has already proven itself in other parts of the world in these types of missions with extreme efficiency.
Taking under account the M28 commuter aircraft unique STOL characteristics designed for easy reconfiguration between different types of missions and is proven in operations in extreme conditions with high range and load (from arctic, through sea and tropical environment) on unprepared airstrips, it’s no surprise that the M28 it is the right option for Trinidad & Tobago to most efficiently fulfill its air missions and operational requirements.