Alenia Aermacchi’s SF-260TP primary and basic trainer, equipped with new digital avionics (Glass Cockpit), an enhanced multi-spectral vision system and an upgraded air conditioning system has completed its first flight in Venegono, Italy. The aircraft is in final testing stages, and potential customers have requested demonstrations of it. The aircraft is equipped with new digital avionics that will increase the SF-260’s competitiveness and will allow the aircraft to play a greater role in the global trainer market.
The new cockpit’s layout, based on an integrated digital avionic system, features two large LCD displays (6×8 inches) and one Control Display Unit (CDU) that manage several of the aircraft’s functions. Two Integrated Flight Displays (IFD) incorporate radio, VHF Omnidirectional Range radio-guide (VOR), GPS, and Inertial Platform and Air Data and ensure complete redundancy and top safety for pilots. The new digital avionics allow for many functions including:
• Presentation of primary flight data (Primary Flight Display) to pilots.
• Radio-guided navigation and GPS autonomous navigation
• Digital Moving Map • Flight Management System
• Aircraft checklist display
• Multi-spectral vision systems obtained through the integration of an infra-red television camera
• Downloading of flight data for post-flight debriefs
The aircraft Enhanced Vision System includes an infra-red television camera installed on the wing leading edge, allowing pilots better visibility at night and in adverse weather conditions.
In addition to the new cockpit digital avionics and the EVS, a modern air conditioning system is integrated on the aircraft that guarantees greater comfort for the crew. The new system, characterized by a high cooling capability, is completely electrical and is operated by a Digital Control Display on the instrument panel.
The SF-260 is the best seller in the primary training market, with over 900 units delivered worldwide. The market interest for the aircraft is still high, as an undisclosed air force who is already SF-260 customers, having recently ordered 12 additional aircraft.
The SF-206 turboprop version, in its new configuration, represents a particularly cost-effective versatile solution, also in severe weather conditions, for filling a variety of military primary and basic training roles.
Source and pictures: Alenia Aermacchi