Airbus Military has detailed a schedule to bring a winglet-equipped enhancement of its C295 medium transport into operational use from the fourth quarter of 2014.
Dubbed the C295W, the future build standard will incorporate a strengthened wing to allow the installation of the metallic winglets, with the entire modification package to add 90kg (198lb) to the transport's weight, the company says.
Combined with an increase in available power from the aircraft's Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127 engines, the winglets will boost payload, climb, altitude and cruise performance, especially when operating in hot environmental conditions and from high airfields.
Flight testing already performed using winglets as part of risk-reduction work for a proposed airborne early warning and control system variant of the C295 also demonstrated an average 4% reduction in fuel consumption, says Gustavo Garcia Miranda, Airbus Military's head of market development. The proposed surveillance version of the aircraft would have a maximum altitude of 26,000ft (7,930m) and an almost 9h endurance with the winglets installed, he adds.
Commercial activities linked to the C295W will be launched before the end of May 2013, following the completion of an analysis of handling qualities linked to a preliminary design. A design freeze is expected during September, and certification from Spain's INTA airworthiness authority is being targeted for the second quarter of 2014.
Airbus Military displayed a winglet-equipped C295W demonstrator at its San Pablo final assembly site in Seville, Spain on 29 May. The airframe modification will also be available as a retrofit option for existing operators, the company says.
Source: Flight International