PZL Mielec has demonstrated its M-28 Skytruck turboprop transport/freighter for an expected Brazilian army and air force requirement.
A European aerospace company vying to enter the Latin American market is Poland’s PZL Mielec owned by Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky. During the LAAD 2017 exhibition held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in early April, the demonstrated its M-28 Skytruck short-take-off/landing turboprop transport/freighter which is conducting a three-month tour of Latin America taking in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago.
Developed from the Soviet-era Antonov An-28 family turboprop transport/freighter, the Pratt and Whitney Canada PT-6A-65B powered M-28 has been produced in Poland by PZL Mielec for more than a decade with over 70 delivered including twelve to the United States Air Force Special Operations Command, where the aircraft is designated as the C-146A, and 24 to the Venezuelan Army and National Guard.
The 19-seat aircraft has a clamshell rear door for easy loading of bulky cargo enabling the aircraft to be rapidly configured for paratroop training, border patrol and casualty evacuation missions.
The Brazilian armed forces light transport assets are currently provided by the air force’s fleet of Embraer EMB-110 and EMB-120 family turboprop transports which have a limited cargo capacity and short field performances.
During its deployment to Brazil, the M-28 carried out a series of demonstration flights from short unprepared runways in high temperatures for the Brazilian Army that has a requirement for a fixed-wing utility aircraft. Currently it only operates rotary-wing aircraft.