THUNDER BAY – The Airbus C295W that was demonstrated at the Wasaya Airways Hanger at the Thunder Bay International Airport is an amazing aircraft. It can hold up to seventy passengers, carry up to 20,000 pounds of freight, has a takeoff run of 670 metres (2200 feet) and a landing run of 320 metres (1050 feet).
The aircraft currently is serving as a military aircraft only. Airbus is looking to market the aircraft into civilian use, and as part of a Canada wide tour is demonstrating the capabilities of the aircraft. The company states, “After the successful C295W tour through Latin America last year, Airbus Defence and Space has now taken C295W on tour through North America, in collaboration with the Mexican Air Force. From 18-29 June it will expose the C295W to the region´s diverse weather conditions to demonstrate again its robustness, reliability and its versatility.”
The Canadian tour has included stops in Saskatoon, Yellowknife, Resolute Bay, Churchill, Thunder Bay, Pickle Lake and Kasabonika.
In terms of northern Ontario as a transport option, many of the runways in the north like Kasabonika where the test flight was planned are 1073 metres (3520 feet) long. The company states the Airbus C295 is designed for the kinds of runways in the North.
Saskatoon Stop for Airbus C295
Airbus Defence and Space state that “The C295 is a new generation, very robust and reliable, highly versatile tactical airlifter able to carry up to nine tonnes of payload or up to 71 personnel, at a maximum cruise speed of 260 kt /480 km/h. Fitted with a retractable landing gear and a pressurised cabin, it can cruise at altitudes up to 25,000 ft, while retaining remarkable short take-off & landing (STOL) performance from unprepared short, soft and rough airstrips, as well as low level flight characteristics”.
“Powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127G turboprop engines, the C295 provides an excellent manoeuvrability, outstanding hot and high performance, low fuel consumption and consequently a very long endurance of up to eleven hours in the air. First delivered in 2001, the C295 is a developed version of the well-known CN235, offering greater capacity and range. Its simple systems design and robustness, its proven in service reliability, its excellent flying qualities and great versatility, as well as its remarkable transport capabilities make it the most efficient ‘workhorse’ with the lowest fuel burn, as well as the best operating and maintenance costs in its category.. The civil and military certification of the C295 ensures compliance with the international airworthiness regulations and safety standards, including the stringent FAR 25 requirements”.
The stop in Thunder Bay came about as a result of discussions between Wasaya Airways and Airbus Defence and Space. In a media statement Wasaya stated, “Recent meetings between senior executives resulted in Airbus bringing a C295W, owned by the Mexican Air Force (SEDENA), to Thunder Bay on June 23rd to demonstrate the aircraft in Wasaya’s unique and challenging northern environment.”
Wasaya has recently had creditors and a Superior Court Judge agree on the company’s financial restructuring proposal.
Wasaya currently is operating with several older aircraft, their Hawker Siddeley 748 planes are older designs, and not according to company officials as economical to run as more modern aircraft.
With an estimated price tag of $28 million, the Airbus C295 might be one of the more expensive options for the airline, but the company says that it is currently now in a position to look at that option.
The cost of the aircraft could mean a monthly payment of at least $25k to $30k depending on interest rates.
- Crew: Two
- Capacity: 71 troops
- Payload: 9,250 kg (20,400 lb)
- Length: 24.50 m (80 ft 3 in)
- Wingspan: 25.81 m (84 ft 8 in)
- Height: 8.60 m (28 ft 3 in)
- Wing area: 59 m² (634.8 ft²)
- Max. takeoff weight: 23,200 kg (51,146 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127G Hamilton Standard 586-F (six bladed), 1,972 kW (2,645 hp) each
- Maximum speed: 576 km/h (311 knots, 358 mph)
- Cruise speed: 480 km/h (260 knots, 300 mph)
- Range: with 3,000 kg (6,600 lb) payload, 4,600 km (2,500 nmi / 2,875 mi); (with 6,000 kg (13,200 lb) payload, 3,700 km (2,000 nmi / 2,300 mi))
- Range with max 9,250 kg (20,400 lb) payload: 1,300 km (700 nmi / 805 mi)
- Ferry range: 5,400 km (2,900 nmi / 3,335 mi)
- Service ceiling: 9,100 m (30,000 ft)
- Takeoff run: 670 m (2,200 ft)
- Landing run: 320 m (1,050 ft)