Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Cargo Haulers in the Great White North

The Globe and Mail has an interesting article this morning that describes in some detail Canada's selection process for new fixed wing, search and rescue aircraft to replace its aging DHC Buffalo and Lockheed C130E aircraft. Canada appears to have settled on the Alenia C27J to the exclusion of any other aircraft, including the EADS/CASA C295.

Of course, EADS is not happy about being bested in the single source selection process. They're not happy about much these days, including Canada's selection of the C17 and the C130J for its military airlifters to the exclusion of the A400M-which is not expected to fly until next year or the year after.

The trend up north seems to be to select off the shelf aircraft that are in production and meet the requirements that the Canadian military has set out.

Parenthetically, the C295 and C27J are the competitors for the US Army JCA program, along with the CN235 and the C130J Hercules II. As the JCA program looks like a 'right size, right capacity, right cost' program to take the load off the Air Force's C130s and the Army's Sherpas, the CN235 and the C130J are probably not in the ballpark.

It's interesting to speculate whether the C27J selection is any index of what the JCA program here will eventually end up with.

Let's go to the tape:

Engines: 2 x P&W PW127G, 2645 shp each
Cabin dimensions: length 41' 8", width 8'10" height 6'3"
MTOW 51,146 pounds
MLW 51,146 pounds
Payload 20,393 pounds
Fuel capacity 12,814 pounds
Floor capacity 670 lbs/ft
Range 2,810 nm
takeoff run, MTOW 2,769 ft
max operating speed 260 kt

Engines: 2 x RR/Allison AE2100D2, 4,637 shp each
Cabin dimensions length 37' 6" incl ramp. width 10' 14" height 8' 6"
MTOW 70,107 pounds
MLW 67,241 pounds
Payload 25,353 pounds
fuel capacity 20,506 pounds
floor capacity 3,286 lbs/ft
Range 3,200 nm
takeoff run, MTOW 1,902 feet
max operating speed 325 kt

From this remove, the C27J offers a considerably faster platform with higher payload capacity and a more robust floor loading capability. I'll be keeping an eye on this subject and revising these preliminary numbers as they become available.

Stay tuned.


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