Aero Ae 270 Ibis
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|Ae 270 Spirit|
|Role||Civil utility aircraft|
|National origin||Czech Republic|
|First flight||25 July 2000|
The Aero Ae270 Spirit is a single-engine turboprop general utility aircraft that was developed by the Czech aircraft company Aero Vodochody. Aero Vodochody envisioned the Ae270 Spirit as a solid market competitor. The Ae270 was designed for rugged passenger and small cargo services. The aircraft's maiden flight took place in 2000. It received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Type Certification in 2005 and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) type certification in 2006, Serial production was cancelled due to a change in strategy for the company and its manufacturing partner.
Design began in the early 1990s. The aircraft's configuration was finalized by 1993. In 1997, Aero signed an agreement with AIDC of Taiwan to jointly manufacture and market the aircraft through Ibis Aerospace. The first prototype (0001, OK-EMA) was completed in 2000, and it first flew on July 25, 2000.
The aircraft was projected to have an empty weight of 1,790 kilograms (3,950 lb), a maximum take-off weight of 3,000 kilograms (6,600 lb), and a ceiling of 7,620 metres (25,000 ft). Five prototypes were planned, two for static and dynamic tests and three for flight tests. The requirements changed and the aircraft was redesigned, new equipment added, a new engine variant chosen. The changes added significant weight. The second (partial) prototype was used for static tests and the fourth, for fatigue tests. The third prototype (OK-SAR) first flew in 2002. The fifth prototype (OK-LIB) was finished in 2003, with its first flight in February. The sixth prototype (OK-INA) was also finished in 2003. UCL (Czech Civil Aeronautical Institute) added more requirements, which delayed further tests. The first prototype was no longer usable for EASA test flights as changes were significant. A seventh prototype (OK-EVA) was built in 2004.
In 2004, AIDC announced that it would not deliver wings for additional airplanes, as its business priorities had shifted from the civil to military aviation. At the same time, Aero Vodochody's upper management experienced a similar shift in their business priorities. Aero management's declining interest led to the cancellation of eighty advance orders for the Ae270 aircraft.
Airworthiness was certified by the Czech Civil Aviation Authority permitting training and aerial work, including commencement of commercial use. EASA certification completed on December the 12th 2005. The FAA certificate was received on 24 February 2006.
During 2008 the programme was suspended. Three aircraft continued to be flown. Currently, one of the aircraft continues in regular service for Aero, as a corporate shuttle. Jigs and tools were placed into storage, and 3 unfinished fuselages (including fatigue test prototype 0004) were moved to the Air Park Zruč u Plzně museum.
Aircraft Integrated Solutions an aviation engineering company based in Manchester UK, is resurrecting the program since August 2016 after its intellectual property and rights as well as European and US type certificates were acquired by its parent, Lebanese investment house COPS.
Specifications (Ae 270HP)
Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 2003–2004
- Crew: One or two
- Capacity: Up to 10 passengers or 1,200 kg (2,645 lb) cargo
- Length: 12.23 m (40 ft 1½ in)
- Wingspan: 13.82 m (45 ft 4 in)
- Height: 4.78 m (15 ft 8¼ in)
- Wing area: 21.00 m² (226.0 ft²)
- Airfoil: NASA MS(1)-0316.7 (root), NASA MS(1)-0312 (tip)
- Empty weight: 2,300 kg (5,071 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 3,670 kg (8,157 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66A-42A turboprop engine, 634 kW (850 shp)
- Maximum speed: 500 km/h planned (270 knots, 311 mph) at FL 200, real top speed is 409 km/h (220 kts)
- Cruise speed: 333 km/h, planned 380 km/h
- Stall speed: 123 km/h (66 knots, 76 mph) with flaps down
- Range: 2,981 km (not confirmed - probably 2500-2700 km) (1,610 nmi, 1,852 mi) at 30,000 ft with 30-minute VFR reserve
- Service ceiling: 9,140 m (30,000 ft)
- Rate of climb: 8.7 m/s (1,710 ft/m)
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Related lists
- "History | AERO Vodochody" (Web page). www.aero.cz. AERO Vodochody a.s. 2008. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
- "Ae270 Commercial Flight-Ready", Aviation Week & Space Technology, 8 January 2007.
- "Ztracený duch Ibise posvátného" [Lost Spirit of Sacred Ibis] (in Czech). Magazín Letiště České republiky. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
- "Aero chystá s Běloruskem miliardový kontrakt, chce tam vyrábět Ae 270" [Aero plans a billion-dollar contract with Belarus, wants to produce Ae 270 there] (in Czech). Magazín E15. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
- "UK company to revive Ae270". Flight Global. 9 August 2016.
- Jackson 2003, pp. 262–263.
- The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage
- Jackson, Paul. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 2003–2004. Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Information Group, 2003. ISBN 0-7106-2537-5.
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