Feb. 26 (UPI) — Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky and its Polish affiliate PZL Mielec are finalizing a planned tour with the M28 short takeoff and landing aircraft.
The promotional tour includes a transatlantic flight from southeast Poland to Latin America and the Caribbean. Key locations will include Trinidad and Tobago and 12 other cities in Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico and Panama.
Lockheed Martin officials say the flight is intended to showcase the aircraft to prospective military and commercial customers alike.
“Militaries and commercial airlines across Latin America and the Caribbean have expressed tremendous interest in the diverse and unique capabilities of this exceptional airplane,” Sikorsky’s Latin America executive Adam Schierholz said in a press release, noting the M28’s ability to support a variety of missions.
The M28 is a twin-engine, high-wing aircraft built for transporting passengers and cargo. In addition to the plane’s short takeoff and landing capability, the M28 is also designed to handle low airspeeds, operate on unpaved airstrips, and features an easy-access rear cargo door.
“When you combine the maneuverability of the M28 with its large cabin and clamshell rear doors, this airplane has the power and payload to fly very different mission profiles,” Schierholz added.
PZL pilots departed Mielec, Poland on Feb. 24 for Denmark, and will make their way to Greenland ahead of the 10-hour transatlantic flight.
“The westward transatlantic crossing in mid-winter is just one example of extreme weather flying for this rugged and reliable M28 airplane,” chief M28 designer Mariusz Kubryn explained. “By the end of the demonstration tour in Latin America this spring, the aircraft will have flown 14,500 km over mountain ranges and oceans, taken off and landed on jungle and island airstrips, and shown its ability to perform under hot and icing conditions.”