The Colombian Aviation Industry Corporation (Corporación de la Industria Aeronáutica Colombiana: CIAC) is nearly finished upgrading the air force’s heavily used Embraer T-27 Tucano trainer aircraft fleet, and next hopes to sell the modernisation work internationally.
In 2015 CIAC received Embraer certifications to modernise Embraer EMB-312 Tucano aircraft (T-27 locally) with new avionics, structural improvements, new landing gear, and more. CAIC is updating 14 Colombian Air Force T-27s to what it calls the T-27M, and has delivered 10 modernised aircraft so far. By the end of the month it is scheduled to deliver an eleventh.
The state-run CIAC is aiming for export work with its T-27M upgrade, specifically eying Guatemala, Honduras, and other Latin American countries that operate the type, Colonel Alexander Pena, CIAC’s sub-director and interim general manager, told reporters in Bogota on 26 September.
In Colombia T-27s, traditionally a trainer aircraft, were given hardpoints on the wings, armed, and used heavily during the Andean state’s internal conflicts, so the air force’s fleet used up its useful life quicker by stressing the aircraft more than was expected, Carlos Murillo, CIAC’s manager for T-27 and major maintenance programmes, told Jane’s that same day at the air force’s Maintenance Command.
The legacy T-27s fly into the Maintenance Command, are stripped down, given structural repairs (including special focus around the wings), new hydraulics, new electrical systems, environmental control systems, new landing gear, and the analogue avionics are replaced with digital, Murillo said.
Nicolas Castro Latorre, engineering department leader for CIAC’s manufacturing and special projects group, told Jane’s the engine is retained but overhauled and tuned differently.
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