Airbus Military unveils C295W

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Airbus Military today unveiled the C295W, the W standing for winglets. It's not an entirely new aircraft but, Airbus Military claims, a much improved version of its popular C295 transport aircraft.

Angel Barrio Cardaba, who takes over the job of Head of Engineering and Technology on Monday, told a gathering of the international press in Seville today that the winglets increase the lift/drag ratio while the enhanced engines add power for climb and cruise.

The 30kg metallic winglets with composite attachments to the wings are designed for optimizing the low-speed performance of the aircraft, notably for operating it from hot and high airfields (such as found in the Andes and Himalayas). Although an improvement in fuel consumption was not a design criteria, "we have found a 3-6% improvement in overall fuel consumption," says Gustavo Garcia Miranda, VP Market Development.

He says a study was launched by Airbus Military with Pratt & Whitney in 2011 to improve the climb and ceiling performances of the C295. The new engine settings have been approved by Pratt & Whitney "and are already certified and incorporated into the Aircraft Flight Manual," he says, adding that these setting improve operations over very high terrain "with only a minor influence on the maintenance costs." In addition, the new settings (without taking the effect of the winglets into account) increase the payload capacity at 25,000 feet by 1.5 tons.

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