Leonardo lines up launch customer for enhanced Spartan airlifter

by Gareth Jennings

Leonardo has secured a launch customer for the enhanced version of its C-27J Spartan transport aircraft, with the first delivery set for 2021.

One of the key visible features of the C-27J NG is the addition of wingtips that are designed to enhance the aircraft fuel consumption and by association its capacity, range and/or endurance. (Leonardo)

One of the key visible features of the C-27J NG is the addition of wingtips that are designed to enhance the aircraft fuel consumption and by association its capacity, range and/or endurance. (Leonardo)

The Italian manufacturer announced on 11 November that final testing of the C-27J Next Generation (NG) was in its closing stages ahead of this planned milestone. The company, however, did not disclose who the customer might be.

News of the sale comes some two years after Leonardo first revealed that it had flown an enhanced version of the Spartan. In December 2018 Leonardo noted that the aircraft had been upgraded to satisfy global air traffic management requirements, being fitted with new avionics, navigation systems, lighting, and other equipment.

In its latest announcement, Leonardo added that the NG configuration includes new cockpit displays, weather radar, modern navigation, and communications equipment, as well as “advanced aerodynamic features”. While not specified by the company, images of the C-27J NG show these aerodynamic features to include winglets, while vanes, strakes, and other items designed to increase fuel efficiency and consequently payload/range/endurance might also be included. The standard Spartan has an 11-tonne payload and a 3,070 n mile (5,685 km; 3,532 miles) ferry range.

 

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Leonardo has secured a launch customer for the enhanced version of its C-27J Spartan transport aircr...

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