‘Getting out to the bush’ now gets a different meaning to taking a bumpy 4x4 SUV ride over the dusty savannah. South African company Vliegmasjien (Stand OS1, outside Hangar 4) is displaying its novel C-Wolf aerial utility vehicle (AUV), a rugged amphibian aircraft equally at home on water or in the bush.
Designed for typical African conditions, the spacious ‘people carrier’ is also perfectly suited to anti-poaching operations or as an air ambulance. The C-Wolf is joined by the 13m wingspan M-Wolf ‘Induna’, a military variant for peacekeeping, maritime patrol or ISR missions, which can carry missiles and rockets on wing-mounted hard points, while the pontoons can serve as weapons pods.
According to managing director Jolien Labuschagne, the aircraft can be fitted with long-range day/ night equipment. “This is a low noise generating aircraft designed for low stall speed, which enhances slow-speed loitering and endurance – easily up to 16 hours,” she emphasised. “Importantly, this aircraft has a range of more than 3,500km, all of which makes it ideal for military operations.”
Vliegmasjien indicates that its products are designed with superior safety features, which include an option of a ballistic triple parachute aircraft rescue system. The ‘canard stall first’ wing design, combined with an integrated split rudder, low speed stabiliser/air brake and double Fowler flaps, ensures safe flying.
Short take-off and landing is facilitated by the composite high-thrust, slow-rotating constant speed pusher propeller, specially developed by MT Propeller. The Wolf is compliant with even the most stringent European noise control regulations, thanks to the combination of propeller and Vliegmasjien’s 3.2 litre V6 turbocharged Adept 320T engine.
“As a responsible company, we are committed to limiting our carbon footprint by adding a catalytic converter to remove any remaining CO2 from the engine,” Labuschagne added. “The Adept 320T already has the lowest lead, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide emission levels in the GA industry.”
Vliegmasjien is due to start taxi trials, soon to be followed by a first flight. “Our ‘sun ’n fun’ C-Wolf with pavilion seating, a sunroof, wraparound windows and a huge interior ensures that the trip is always more pleasurable than the destination,” Labuschagne concluded.