An M28 short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft built at PZL Mielec, a facility in Poland owned by Sikorsky [LMT] has arrived in Ecuador following a trans-Atlantic flight.
Delivered five months after contract award, the twin-engine turboprop will meet the Ecuadorian Army's need for a proven multi-role transport aircraft that can perform in diverse climates and terrain.
The Ecuadorian army contracted for the aircraft in April this year. Ecuadorian army pilots and mechanics were trained at the company’s facility in Poland. A Polish crew then flew the aircraft 13,500 km, stopping in Iceland and Greenland then across the Atlantic Ocean to Canada, the United States and Central America. It finally landed at Shell Mera in Ecuador, where the aircraft was officially accepted by the Ecuadorian army on Monday.
"The M28 aircraft's powerful turbo-prop engines, a large cabin with clamshell rear door, and the airframe's rugged structural characteristics, will give the Ecuadorian Army a highly versatile short takeoff and landing platform with which to perform multiple types of missions in diverse climates," said Adam Schierholz, Sikorsky regional executive for Latin America. "We welcome Ecuador to the M28 family."
The M28 aircraft can operate from runways or airstrips inaccessible by other airplanes, and can fly in extreme environmental conditions and temperatures.
More than 100 M28s are in service worldwide in both commercial and military configurations. Among other missions, they perform passenger transport, parachutist training, border patrol and fisheries supervision. The Polish air force flies the M28 Bryza variant for both maritime and transport operations.
The M28 aircraft weighs 16,500 pounds and can be equipped with 19 passenger seats, or transport up to 5,000 pounds of cargo.