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Airbus tests C295 variant
by Staff Writers
Madrid (UPI) Jun 16, 2011

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

An Airbus Military C295 fitted with an Airborne Early Warning and Command rotodome has been flight tested in Spain, the company announced.

The flight, which took place at Airbus Military's site in Seville, earlier this month, followed extensive research-and-development work that included wind-tunnel testing.

Airbus Military, part of the EADS Group, said the flight lasted 2 hours, 48 minutes from wheels up to wheels down. It was conducted to verify the aerodynamic and structural impact of the rotodome on the aircraft's overall structure, handling qualities of the aircraft and its performance.

The rotodome fitted for the initial trials of the aircraft measures 6 yards in diameter and is a fixed dummy structure.

On production aircraft the rotodome would be a fast-rotating device housing state-of-the-art radar to give 360-degree and continuous coverage of a selected area.

"This first flight confirmed to us that the C295 is an excellent platform to support such a rotodome", said test pilot Alejandro Maurga after the flight. "The behavior of the aircraft and its flying characteristics were very satisfactory and as expected."

Flight testing will continue over the next three months to complete the feasibility study and fully validate the concept, the company said.

Airbus Military said its C295 is an ideal platform for Airborne Early Warning and Control missions. The C295 is used for other intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance applications such as maritime patrol, anti-submarine warfare or environmental protection missions.

The C295 is a simple but robust platform with proven reliability, used in conflict operations for defense and homeland security missions. It is adaptable to the AEW&C role thanks to its versatility and the largest cabin in its class.

The in-house developed, fully integrated tactical system enables the integration of on-board sensors, including operation and monitoring of the future radar system and display of the aerial picture.

The current AEW&C trials are to demonstrate the C295's capability in this sector and expand its range of applications and open a new market segment for affordable, high-performance AEW&C systems.

The company is touting the new generation of C295 as an ideal aircraft for military transport and civic missions given its robustness and reliability. With simple systems, this medium-sized tactical airlifter provides the wide versatility and flexibility required for personnel, troop and bulky/palletized cargo transportation, casualty evacuation, communication and logistic duties or certified air-dropping capabilities.

"The C295 is fitted with both civil and military technology that ensures success on demanding tactical missions, as well as growth potential for future equipment installation and compatibility with the latest civil airspace environment," it said.

The C295 is part of Airbus Military's family of light and medium airlifters which includes the smaller C212 and CN235 platforms.

The C295 was launched in 2001. Its operators include Spain, Poland, Jordan, Colombia, Algeria, Brazil, Portugal, Finland and Chile.

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