Alenia Aermacchi plans to introduce a widespread package of enhancements to its C-27 Spartan medium transport, which will become the baseline standard for the type from late 2017.
The aircraft will gain winglets – which were unveiled earlier this year and are now nearing final configuration – and uprated Rolls-Royce AE 2100 engines, increasing maximum take-off weight by 700kg (1,540lb) to 32.5t.
Bench tests of the uprated AE 2100 powerplant in combination with six-blade Dowty propellers have already been conducted, said programme engineering head Christian Amendolagine.
“The main concern was the gearbox, but even that is designed for more power,” he says.
First flight of the higher-thrust baseline engines should take place in mid-2017, with power output raised to 5,100hp (3,800kW).
Hot and high performance also will be improved, with the extra power available up to 6,000ft at 28˚C.
In addition, a wide-ranging avionics enhancement will see the twin-turboprop gain a long list of upgrades, including a new flight management system, weather radar, video terrain awareness warning system and an updated identification friend-or-foe system.
This could also eventually be a retrofit package for existing customers if there is sufficient demand, says Amendolagine, and the airframer is in discussion with operators about the potential upgrade.
“Right now, we are trying to get a common view among customers,” he says.