Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi has completed dedicated flight-testing following the modification to add winglets to the C-27J battlefield airlifter configuration, one of a series of product developments underway on the only real military medium turboprop airlifter on the market.
The winglets, which are extensions to the wingtips of the aircraft, have the aim to improve the already very good overall flight performance of the aircraft by increasing the lift-drag ratio and will ever extend the performance gap between the C-27J and its competitors.
In-service benefits include improved hot and high runway performance, increased payload, range, endurance and the overall deriving reduction in operating costs.
First flight of the “wingletted” aircraft took place with complete success at Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi’s Turin-Caselle facility, Italy, on 15 June. Flight Test campaign allowed to collect all the data to verify the design objectives achievements providing the basis for a substantiated decision to incorporate winglets into the C-27J design, also in the configuration such as gunship and surveillance aircraft.
The winglet design includes also, as a peculiarity, some parts which have been produced by a new 3D Additive Manufacturing technology. Material characteristics and properties have been ground tested, in order to support Flight qualification, by Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi’s Naples-Pomigliano Engineering Laboratory.