Transport of people and cargo in the military sector is provided by various types of aircraft, from large-capacity aircraft to smaller machines. The world's most widespread transport aircraft is a four-engine C-130 Hercules, belonging to the middle category machines. However, its capabilities can sometimes be redundant in terms of cargo volume. For such cases, the Italian concern Leonardo has prepared a solution - the aircraft with a short take-off and landing C-27J Spartan.
The prototype of this new generation high-altitude multi-purpose transport aircraft powered by a pair of Rolls-Royces AE2100D2 turboprop engines flew in September 1999. Its concept is directly linked to its predecessor the Alenia G.222, from which it differs mainly in its innovative design, modern avionics and engine. Digital avionics, engines, propellers and onboard cargo handling equipment derived from the C-130J Super Hercules, which has a positive impact on logistics, maintenance and transportation when deploying both types in various international operations. Sharing design elements also helps in terms of the availability of spare parts for both types worldwide. Despite purely military use, Spartan has been certified under both civilian and military regulations.
Thanks to the robust construction and the wing with three beams and rich mechanization, the aircraft can operate even in conditions where the overload is +3G. With a weight of 30,000 kg, Spartan can operate from unpaved runways only about 500 m long. The addition to engines, it is equipped with the on-board power unit ensuring aircraft independence, especially in areas without the necessary logistic, but it can also be used during the flight. The cockpit is designed for a two-man crew. The basis is a dual electronic pilot-navigation system with five colour liquid crystal displays and digital avionics. Optionally, an integrated aircraft protection system or an in-flight refuelling adapter can be installed.
The main cabin with a usable area of 23.23 m2 and a volume of 69.5 m3 allows the transport of cargo placed on the HCU-6E pallets with dimensions 2.74 x 2.23 m, respectively HCU-12E (1.37 x 2.23 m) and standard pallets 463L used within NATO. The Spartan can be loaded with three larger and one smaller pallet or standard unit of up to 46 fully armed paratroopers sitting on folding seats along the hull walls through a cargo ramp with an upward-opening tailgate. Besides, the aircraft can carry other heavy cargo such as Range Rover off-road vehicles or HMMWV armoured vehicles, Bell 206 helicopter and other material. Italy, Greece, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Australia and Slovakia is currently using the Spartans.
|Empty weight||17 150 kg|
|Max takeoff weight||31 800 kg|
|Maximum speed||602 km/h|
|Service ceiling||9144 m|
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