The Austrian Air Force today took delivery of its largest transports - two Short Skyvan light STOL twin-turboprop aircraft.
The Austrian Air Force today took delivery of its largest transports - two Short Skyvan light STOL twin-turboprop aircraft. The two aircraft were formally handed over at a ceremony at Langenlebarn air base, 30km from Vienna, by Mr D S Scoffham, Shorts' sales director, to Austrian defence chiefs.
Today's ceremony represents the completion of the first military contract, worth about GBP400,000 ($960,000) but negotiations are going on with other Government for military sales, while there are potential follow-on orders for a further eight for the Australian Air Force. At present Skyvan is being evaluated by all three United States armed services.
The two Skyvans, based on the specification of the civil model now in full production in Belfast and of which 28 have been sold or leased to 17 operators, will be used for medium-range passenger and freight flights throughout the country, and across the national borders. Skyvan's rugged airframe and its STOL capability from rough mountain strips particularly commended it to the Austrian military staff.
Operating at a gross take-off weight of 13,500lb (6125kg) the military Skyvan has a capacity for 22 equipped troops in forward facing seats designed to fold against the wall; or nine soldiers and a substantial freight load; or 16 fully armed paratroopers in laterally facing seats, or a full freight load of 2,265kg (4,600lb).
With its boxlike cabin 18ft 7in (5,67m) long, the aircraft is ideal for freighting equipment such as guns or vehicles, loaded through full-width rear-loading door. Any vehicle which can be fitted into the hold up to a maximum per-wheel load of 1,000lb (???) can be carried with its crew, while for supply dropping palletised loads can be air dropped with the use of roller conveyors and extractor parachute systems.
The Australian Skyvans are also fitted out for aerial survey and casualty evacuation. In the latter role they can carry up to 12 stretcher cases with two attendants, while the 6ft 6in (1,98m) headroom over the whole floor area simplifies the work of medical staff and provides comfort for patients.