Airbus Defence and Space has followed its recent successful demonstration of air-to-air refueling between two C295W medium transports with a demonstration of refueling contacts with a H225M Caracal helicopter.
In the trial, performed jointly with Airbus Helicopters from Marignane, France in December, contacts were executed at speeds of 105-115kt and both crews reported smooth and simple operation.
The system is now being offered to existing and prospective C295 operators. Possible applications include special operations and extending the range of search and rescue aircraft.
In May 2013, Airbus Military announced the launch of a new series of its best-selling C295 medium transport and surveillance aircraft - the C295W.
Featuring winglets and uprated engines as standard, the new model will provide operators with enhanced performance in all flight phases but is particularly aimed at those operating at “hot and high” airfields where payload increases in excess of 1,000kg are promised.
In intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) roles such as airborne early warning (AEW), the enhancements will increase endurance by 30-60min and permit an operating altitude up to 2,000ft higher than now.
The new features will also provide an overall reduction in fuel consumption of around 4% depending on configuration and conditions.
The C295W, assembled in Seville, Spain, became the standard version of the aircraft in all versions from the fourth quarter of 2014.
Airbus Military is committing to the C295W following flight-trials with winglets fitted to its company development aircraft which showed positive results for a weight penalty of only around 90kg.
The engines are the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127 turboprops which power all versions of the C295. New procedures recently certified by Canada and Spain permit operation in the climb and cruise phases at higher power settings at the discretion of the operator. As well as improved hot and high performance, the procedure improves operation over very high terrain such as the Andes or Himalaya mountains with only a minor influence on maintenance cost.
The new generation C295 is the ideal aircraft for defence and civic mission to the benefit of society, such as humanitarian actions, maritime patrol, and environmental surveillance missions, amongst others.
Thanks to its robustness and reliability, and with simple systems, this medium sized tactical airlifter provides wide versatility and flexibility, necessary for personnel, troop and bulky/palletized cargo transportation, casualty evacuation, communication and logistic duties or certified air-dropping capabilities.
Its mix of dual technology civil/military equipment ensure success on demanding tactical mission, growth potential for future equipment as well as compatibility with the latest civil airspace environment.
The C295 is part of Airbus Military’s family of light and medium airlifters which also include the smaller NC212i and CN235 platforms.