AERMACCHI SF-260

Uruguayan Air Force designation: T-260

TYPE: Basic prop trainer/attack lightplane.

PROGRAMME: Originated as F.250 designed by Stelio Frati and made by Aviamilano; current versions developed (unsuccessfully) for USAF's Enhanced Flight Screener requirement; still in low-volume production as a military trainer following transfer of design rights to Aermacchi in 1997 as SF-260 (with hyphen). By 1999, SF-260s had flown more than 1,700,000 hours.

CURRENT VERSIONS: SF-260E: Direct-injection engine, strengthened airframe and 100 kg (220 lb) higher aerobatic weight than superseded SF.260D. Wing aerodynamically refined to preserve original stalling speed, despite increased MTOW; automatic fuel management. Canopy height and width increased. Certified by RAI on 21 January 1992 and by FAA on 17 August 1994.
Main description applies to SF-260E and Warrior.
SF-260F: As SF-260E, but carburetted engine. Promotion discontinued.
SF-260E Warrior: Trainer/tactical support version. Two underwing pylons, for up to total 300 kg (661 lb) of external stores, and cockpit stores selection panel. Able to undertake a wide variety of roles, including low-level strike; forward air control; forward air support; armed reconnaissance; and liaison.
SF-260TP: Turboprop-powered version. No longer in production.

CUSTOMERS: Total of some 790 produced (including turboprop version) by SIAI-Marchetti at Sesto Calende for customers in 27 countries; further 64 sold by Aermacchi. Civil operators include Sabena, Royal Air Maroc and Alitalia. Six SF-260Fs ordered by Air Force of Zimbabwe, early 1997, of which last delivered in October 1998; these were first of type built at Venegono. In June 1998, 12 SF-260Es bought by Venezuelan Air Force, and delivered to 14 Grupo at Maracay from late 2000. Delivery of 13 SF-260Es to Uruguayan Air Force began in September 1999, following first flight on 23 July, and completed in December 2000. Mexico placed order in early 1998, initially for 13, but subsequently 30, of which first six delivered in early 2000. Five Warrior variants of SF-260EU to Mauritania in 2000. Italian Air Force is potential SF-260E customer, requiring up to 40 for replacement of its SF-260AM fleet.

DESIGN FEATURES: Side-by-side, piston-engined aerobatic trainer. Low-mounted wings with forward-swept trailing-edges and tip tanks; sweptback fin.
Wing section NACA 641-212 (modified) at root, 641-210 (modified) at tip; dihedral 6.5o 20' from roots.

FLYING CONTROLS: Conventional and manual. Frise ailerons each with servo tab; trim tabs for all three axes; four-way trim button on each stick top; electrically operated slotted flaps; controls operated by dual cables.

STRUCTURE: All-metal stressed skin structure; wing skin formed of butt-jointed panels flush riveted; single main spar and auxiliary rear spar; press-formed ribs; wings bolted together on centreline and attached to fuselage by six bolts. Fatigue life 15,000 hours.

LANDING GEAR: Electrically retractable tricycle type, with manual emergency actuation. Inward-retracting main gear, of trailing arm type, and rearward-retracting nose unit, each embodying Magnaghi oleo-pneumatic shock-absorber (Type 2/22028 in main units). Nose unit is of leg and fork type, with coaxial shock-absorber and torque strut. Cleveland P/N 3080A mainwheels, with size 6.00-8 tube and tyre (6 ply rating), pressure 2.45 bar (36 lb/sq in). Cleveland P/N 40-77A nosewheel, with size 5.00-5 tube and tyre (8 ply rating), pressure 1.96 bar (28 lb/sq in). Cleveland P/N 3000-500 independent hydraulic single-disc brake on each mainwheel; parking brake. Nosewheel steering (±20o) operated directly by rudder pedals.

POWER PLANT: One 194 kW (260 hp) Textron Lycoming AEIO-540-D4A5 flat-six driving a Hartzell HC-C2YK-1BF/8477-8R two-blade, constant-speed, metal propeller.
Fuel in two light alloy tanks in wings each holding 49.5 litres (13.1 US gallons; 10.9 Imp gallons); and two permanent wingtip tanks each holding 72 litres (19.0 US gallons; 15.85 Imp gallons). Total internal fuel capacity 243 litres (64.2 US gallons; 53.3 Imp gallons), of which 235 litres (62.1 US gallons; 51.7 Imp gallons) are usable. Individual refuelling point on top of each tank. In addition, SF-260W may be fitted with two 80 litre (21.1 US gallon; 17.5 Imp gallon) auxiliary tanks on underwing pylons. Oil capacity (all models) 11.4 litres (3.0 US gallons; 2.5 Imp gallons).

ACCOMMODATION: Two pilots side by side in adjustable seats, with full blind-flying panel on right and reduced panel and radio on left. Third seat in rear. All three seats equipped with lap belts and shoulder harnesses. Baggage compartment aft of rear seat. Upper portion of sliding canopy tinted. Emergency canopy release handle for front seat occupant. Steel tube windscreen frame for protection in the event of an overturn. Air conditioning, oxygen and enlarged canopy optional.

SYSTEMS: Foot-powered hydraulics for mainwheel brakes only. No pneumatic system. 24 V DC electrical system of single-conductor negative earth type, including 70 A Prestolite engine-mounted alternator/rectifier and 24 V 24 Ah battery, for engine starting, flap and landing gear actuation, fuel booster pumps, electronics and lighting. Sealed battery compartment in rear of fuselage on portside. Connection of an external power source automatically disconnects the battery. Heating system for carburettor air intake. Emergency electrical system for extending landing gear if normal electrical actuation fails; provision for mechanical extension in the event of total electrical failure. Cabin heating, and windscreen de-icing and demisting, by heat exchanger using engine exhaust air. Additional manually controlled warm air outlets for general cabin heating. Optional R134a gas air conditioning system and autopilot both available from 2000.

AVIONICS: Comms: Bendix/King or Rockwell Collins airways radio with dual com and nav; in SF-260E, avionics mounted aft of cabin and battery moved forward.

EQUIPMENT: Military equipment to customer's requirements. External stores can include one or two reconnaissance pods with two 70 mm automatic cameras, or two supply containers or two external tanks. Landing light in nose, below spinner. Two Servaux Samar-Sater 83/0 or 83/1 emergency packs.

ARMAMENT: Warrior has two underwing hardpoints, able to carry external stores on NATO 356 mm (14 in) shackles up to a maximum of 300 kg (661 lb) when flown as a single-seater. Typical alternative loads can include one or two SIAI gun pods, each with one or two 7.62 mm FN machine guns and 500 rounds; two 0.50 Browning machine gun pods; two Aerea AL-8-70 launchers each with eight 2.75 in rockets; two Forges de Zeebrugge LAU-32 launchers each with seven 2.75 in rockets; two Aerea AL-18-50 launchers each with eighteen 2 in rockets; two Aerea AL-8-68 launchers each with eight 68 mm rockets; two Thomson-Brandit 68-7 launchers each with seven 68 mm rockets; two Aerea AL-6-80 launchers each with six 81 mm rockets; two Thiokol LUU-2/B parachute flares; two SAMP EU 32 125 kg general purpose bombs or EU 13 120 kg fragmentation bombs; two SAMP EU 70 50 kg general purpose bombs; Mk 76 11 kg practice bombs; two cartridge throwers for 70 mm multipurpose cartridges, F725 flares or F130 smoke cartridges.

 

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