|IAI Arava at the Israeli Air Force Museum|
|Manufacturer||Israeli Aircraft Industries|
|First flight||27 November 1969|
|Introduction||1973 Paris Airshow|
|Primary users||Israeli Air Force
14 other militaries
$450,000 (U.S.) in 1971
The Israeli Aircraft Industries Arava (Hebrew: עֲרָבָה, "Willow" or "Steppe" of "Desert", named after the Aravah of the Jordan Rift Valley) is a light STOL utility transport aircraft built in Israel by IAI in the late 1960s.
The Arava was IAI's first major aircraft design to enter production. It was intended both for the military and civil market, but the aircraft was only built in relatively small numbers. The customers were found mainly in third world countries, especially in Central and South America as well as Swaziland and Thailand.
The design work on the Arava began in 1965, and the design objectives included STOL performance, the ability to operate from rough strips and carry 20 passengers or bulky payloads. To achieve this, the Arava design was of a relatively unusual configuration.
The Arava's fuselage was barrel-like, short but wide, and the rear of the fuselage was hinged and could swing open for easy loading and unloading. Its wing span was long and the twin tails were mounted on booms that ran from the engine nacelles. It was fitted with a fixed nosewheel undercarriage to save weight, while the chosen powerplant was two 715 eshp (533 kW) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27 turboprops.
The first prototype Arava made its maiden flight on November 27, 1969. The second prototype was destroyed when a wing strut experienced flutter and failed during flight testing on November 19, 1970. The third prototype flew for the first time on May 8, 1971. Three planes were commandeered for use by Squadron 122 in the Yom Kippur War, but were returned afterwards. The Israeli Air Force did not purchase the plane until 1983, when nine planes were bought. Production ended in 1988. 103 aircraft were produced, including 70 for the military market. The IAF decided in 2004 to retire the plane. It is still in operation in some countries.
- IAI 101 - civil-transport version
- IAI 102 - civil passenger aircraft for up to 20 people in airline-standard configuration or up to 12 passengers in VIP configuration
- IAI 102B - civil transport version
- IAI 201 - military transport version
- IAI 202 - modified, longer version with modified wings
The military version could also be equipped with a range of weapons, in order to act in anti-submarine- or gunship roles. The weapon configuration could include two machine guns in fuselage side packs (usually 0.5" Browning), plus a third gun on the rear fuselage, and two pods containing 6 x 82 mm rocket pods or torpedoes or sonar buoys on the fuselage sides.
Another less known military version is the 202B Electronic warfare model. This vesrion was made in small numbers, and had distinct large radomes at the front and back ends of the main body. The radomes contained the Electronic warfare mission systems.
- Gobierno de Tierra Del Fuego - Dirección Provincial de Aeronáutica
- Colombian Air Force - One in operation, FAC1952. 2 out of the original 3 have been retired.
Specifications (IAI 201)
Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1982-83
- Crew: 2
- 24 fully equipped troops or
- 16 paratroopers
- Payload: 2,351 kg (5,184 lb)
- Length: 12.69 m (41 ft 6 in)
- Wingspan: 20.96 m (68 ft 9 in)
- Height: 5.21 m (17 ft 1 in)
- Wing area: 43.68 m² (470.2 ft2)
- Empty weight: 3,999 kg (8,816 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 6,804 kg (15,000 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 turboprops, 559 kW (750 shp) each
- Maximum speed: 326 km/h (215 knots, 247 mph) at 3,050 m (10,000 ft)
- Cruise speed: 319 km/h (176 knots, 203 mph) at 3,050 m (10,000 ft)
- Stall speed: 115 km/h (62 knots, 71.5 mph)) flaps down
- Range: 1,056 km (570 nmi, 656 mi) max fuel
- Service ceiling: 7,620 m (25,000 ft)
- Rate of climb: 6.6 m/s (1,290 ft/min)
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- Cohen 1974, p. 57.
- Cohen 1974, pp. 57, 59.
- Cohen 1974, p. 59.
- Air Progress: 22. October 1971.
- IAI-201 Arava
- "122 Squadron - The Dakota". Globalsecurity.org.
- Taylor 1982, pp. 123–124.
- Cohen, Irvine J. "Arava: Israel's first-born bids for world market". Air Enthusiast International, February 1974, Vol 6, No 2. pp. 55–61, 92–93.
- Taylor, John W. R. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1982-83. London:Jane's Yearbooks, 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0748-2.