By Alan Dron
Japanese manufacturer Kawasaki Heavy Industries has a busy summer ahead of it as it prepares for he first flights of two major new aircraft types.
With their official roll-outs due next month, minimal publicity has so far surrounded the appearance of the P-X next-generation maritime patrol aircraft and C-X cargo aircraft, which are designed to maximise commonality of structural parts and equipment. First flights are scheduled for late summer.
The company hopes it will receive the go-ahead from the Japanese government by the end of this year to put the aircraft into production, which would allow deliveries of both types to start in 2011.
The C-X is a high-wing military transport designed to replace the earlier Kawasaki C-1, which has been in service since 1974.
The high-wing transport is powered by two CF6-80C2 turbofans, is planned to have a cruise speed of M0.8, a payload of 37.6 tons and a maximum take-off weight of 141.1 tonnes. The Japanese Air Self-Defense Force is believed to want around 40 of the type. Its cargo will be carried in a hold measuring 4m x 4m x 16m.
Kawasaki is studying a civil variant, which would specialise in oversize cargo. The P-X, which will be powered by four new XF-7 turbofans being developed by Ishikawajima Harima, is planned to replace the country’s Maritime Self-Defence Force’s large fleet of P-3C Orions. Around 70 of the new type is anticipated. Given Japan’s dependence on foreign trade, maritime patrol has always been accorded a high priority and the distances involved in patrolling Pacific sea lanes have resulted in the P-X design being given four engines for safety.
Source: Flight Daily News