IBIS Ae 270 SPIRIT

TYPE: Light utility turboprop.

PROGRAMME: Announced by Aero Vodochody of Czech Republic in early 1990, originally as L-270; configuration modified 1991; originally planned in two versions (Ae 270 U and Ae 270 MP), but revised late 1993 and name Ibis introduced; design frozen 1995. Chief designer Jan Mikula. Three flying prototypes (Nos. 1, 3 and 5), plus one each for static and fatigue testing (Nos. 2 and 4, respectively); to be certified under FAR Pt 23 (Normal category) and be suitable for FAR Pt 135 single-pilot IFR. Wings for first prototype (Ae 270 P) received from Taiwan August 1999. Roll-out delayed by late arrival of some components, but took place on 10 December 1999; first flight (OK-EMA) 25 July 2000 and to VZLU test centre 23 October 2000. Third prototype (second flying, OK-SAR) rolled out 2 November 2001; first flight 23 December 2001 (not announced until 11 January 2002) followed by fifth prototype (third flying, OK-LIB) on 24 January 2003, although 'official' first flight was not until 25 February 2003. Certification of Ae 270 P originally expected mid-2002; followed by Ae 270 HP in fourth quarter; first deliveries (Ae 270 P) anticipated in October 2002, with Ae 270 HP deliveries commencing in early 2003. This not achieved, and at NBAA Convention at Orlando, Florida, in September 2002, Ibis announced suspension of Ae 270 P in order to concentrate resources on Ae 270 HP, with intention of JAR-23 certification in late 2003 and deliveries from early 2004, coincident with FAR Pt 23 (single pilot) approval. Eligible for FAR Pt 135.

CURRENT VERSIONS: Ae 270 P: Basic pressurised version, with 634 kW (850 shp) flat rated P&WC PT6A-42A engine, Honeywell avionics and retractable gear.
Ae 270 HP: High performance version, announced 7 October 2000 at NBAA Convention in New Orleans; PT6A-66A engine offering improved speed, climb and altitude performance and greater fuel efficiency. Aircraft 05 is prototype for this version, which will be the first to be certified. As described.
Ae 270 W: Non-pressurised model (previously called Ae 270 U), with fixed landing gear, Walter M 601F engine and Czech avionics. Plans for this version in abeyance in 2001.
Ae 270 FP and FW: Wheeled-float versions of P and W. Not currently promoted.

CUSTOMERS: Initial orders announced at Paris Air Show, June 2001, involved 51 aircraft for six regional distributors (four in USA, one each in Australia and South Africa). Firm orders for 67, plus six options, by early 2003.

COSTS: US$1.995 million (Ae 270 P) and US$2.195 million (Ae 270 HP) (2002).

DESIGN FEATURES: Sized between Socata TBM 700 and Pilatus PC-12. High-aspect ratio low wing, circular cabin windows, sweptback vertical tail.
Medium-speed aerofoil section (thickness/chord ratio 17 per cent at root, 12 per cent at tip); leading-edge sweepback 7o 42'; dihedral 6o; incidence 3o; twist 3o.

FLYING CONTROLS: Conventional and manual, augmented by upper-wing roll control spoilers interconnected to ailerons. Elevators trimmed mechanically, ailerons and rudder electromechanically; trim tab in rudder. Wide-span single-slotted Fowler flaps (70 per cent of trailing-edge; positions 0, 20 and 40o) actuated hydraulically. Autopilot optional.

STRUCTURE: All-metal semi-monocoque, with fail-safe structural elements in fuselage and two-spar wings. Fuselage of conventionally formed sheet metal bulkheads, stringers and skin; wings (built by AIDC) have formed sheet metal ribs, stringers and chemically milled skin. Production in Czech Republic (including engine compartment by Moravan, cabin floor panels by LZ and rear fuselage, fin and rudder by EV-AT) except for wings and landing gear, produced in Taiwan by AIDC; final assembly by Aero Vodochody. Other suppliers include: Eros (oxygen system), Fisher (crew and passenger seats), Gumotex Breclav (de-icer boots), Honeywell (air conditioning and pressurisation components), Intertechnique (fuel gauges), Jihlavan (hydraulic system), Mikrotechna Modrany (instrumentation), Moravan (wheels and brakes), and PPG Industries (windows).

LANDING GEAR: Retractable tricycle type by Technometra Radotin, with Moravan wheels and brakes; steerable nosewheel (60o by brakes, 15o by rudder pedals). Inward retraction for mainwheels, rearward for nosewheel. Oleo-pneumatic shock-absorbers in all units; hydraulic disc brakes on mainwheels. Dunlop tubeless tyres: size 6.50-10, pressure 6.90 bar (100 lb/sq in) on mainwheels, size 6.00-6, pressure 3.80 bar (55 lb/sq in) on nosewheel. Minimum ground turning radius (based on nosewheel) 4.00 m (13 ft 1½ in).

POWER PLANT: One 634 kW (850 shp) (flat rated) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66A turboprop, driving a Hartzell HC-D4N-3/D9511FK four-blade, constant-speed, feathering and reversing propeller.
Integral fuel tank in each wing-centre-section, combined usable capacity 1,170 litres (309 US gallons; 257 Imp gallons). Gravity refuelling point in top of each wing. Oil capacity 5.7 litres (1.5 US gallons; 1.25 Imp gallons) in Ae 270 P.

ACCOMMODATION: Flight crew of two standard, but to be certified for single-pilot operation. Main cabin suitable for up to eight passengers or 1,200 kg (2,645 lb) of cargo, or combinations of both. Six/seven-seat business or four-seat club layouts permit inclusion of lavatory. Medevac configuration provides accommodation for two stretcher cases and two medical attendants. Forward-opening crew door as front on port side; upward-opening passenger/cargo door on port side aft of wing with optional airstair door inset; overwing emergency exit on starboard side. Baggage door on starboard side at rear. Cockpit and cabin air conditioning, pressurisation and windscreen heating standard.

SYSTEMS: Electrical power provided by 28 V 250 A DC engine-driven starter/generator and 24 V 42 Ah lead-acid battery; 28 V DC external power connector. Standby generator optional. Hydraulic system, pressure 150 bar (2,175 lb/sq in), for actuation of flaps, mainwheel brakes and landing gear extension/retraction; flow rate 11 litres (2.9 US gallons; 2.4 Imp gallons)/min. Landing gear and mainwheel brakes also controllable by separate emergency hand-operated valves and parking brake.
Honeywell air conditioning and pressurisation system maintains differential of 0.30 bar (4.4 lb/sq in) up to altitude 7,500 m (24,600 ft). Gumotex pneumatic (engine bleed air) de-icing of wing and tailplane leading-edges; electric de-icing of windscreens, propeller blades; hot air de-icing of engine air intake; stall warning sensor and pitot tube standard on both models. Eros emergency oxygen system for crew and passengers.

AVIONICS: Standard flight, navigation and engine instrumentation (VFR or IFR) to comply with FAR Pt 23.
Radar: Weather radar optional.
Flight: IFR package standard for business versions, including VOR/ILS, ADF, Trimble GPS and S-Tec S-55 autopilot.
Instrumentation: EFIS optional.

 

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