AIRCRAFT

  • PC - 7 Mk II

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    INTRO      
    The Pilatus PC-7 Turbo-Trainer is a single-engine, tandem two-seat turboprop aircraft designed to perform training missions for military customers. It was developed by Pilatus Aircraft in Switzerland. The first PC-7 prototype performed its maiden flight on April 12, 1966, and the first production aircraft first flew in August 1978. The first production aircraft was delivered in December 1978. The Pilatus PC-7 trainer received a large number of orders in the 1980s entering into service with over 20 air forces providing basic training becoming thus the most successful military aircraft program for Pilatus Aircraft. The PC-7 Mk II is a development of the PC-9's airframe and avionics, fitted with the PC-7's smaller turbine to lower operating and maintenance costs. It is used by the South African Air Force, with sixty examples having been manufactured. The aircraft were assembled in South Africa from kits supplied by Pilatus.
           
    PC-7 Mk II      
    Since its introduction in 1994, the PC-7 MkII has come with an exceptional standard of equipment, performance, and cost-effectiveness for this class of training aircraft.
    Offering a reliable and economic training platform, the docile behaviour of the PC-7 MkII in the hands of a beginner delivers a confidence-building environment for inexperienced cadets. With its highly cost-efficient Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-25C engine, it provides the lowest engine operating costs of all turboprop trainer aircraft.
    The use of airframe and avionic systems common with the PC-9 M means owners and operators benefit from the synergies of a combined infrastructure established at Pilatus to support both aircraft types.
    With its modern cockpit, matching performance and exceptional handling, the PC-7 MkII is an ideal training aircraft for air forces around the world.
    Over 500 aircraft (PC-7 & PC-7 MkII) have been sold to 21 air forces around the world. In 2012 the Indian Air Force has opted for 75 PC-7 MkII.
    The Silver Falcons have utilised the aircraft since 1999.
           
    COCKPIT      
    To fulfil today’s requirement for basic pilot training and to optimise training efficiency, the cockpit of the PC-7 MkII was designed with three main criteria in mind: safety, intuitive system controls, and flexibility of avionics configuration. The stepped tandem cockpit layout provides excellent visibility from both cockpits, unobstructed by a front canopy bow. All instruments, displays and controls are ergonomically positioned to allow easy and safe operation of the aircraft in all flight regimes. The tandem arrangement of all controls, communications and navigation systems allows the instructor to effectively observe, assist, or override the student’s actions as necessary.
           
    COCKPIT   PERFORMANCE  

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      The PC-7 MkII performs as follows under international standard atmospheric (ISA) conditions:
      Take-off distance over 50 ft (15 m) obstacle at sea level 1,360 ft
      Landing distance over 50 ft (15 m) obstacle at sea level 2,180 ft
      Max. rate of climb, sea level 2,910 ft/min
      Max. operating speed (Vmo) 300 KEAS
      Max. horizontal cruise speed at sea level (Vh) 242 KTAS
      Max. horizontal cruise speed at 10,000 ft (Vh) 255 KTAS
      Stall speed  
        - flaps and gear up (Vs) 75 KCAS
        - flaps and gear down (VSO so) 68 KCAS
      G loads  
        - Max. positive 7.0 g
        - Max. negative - 3.5 g
      Max. range 810 nm 
         
      WEIGHTS  
      Basic empty weight (dep. on configuration) 3,771 lb
      Max. take-off weight, acrobatic configuration 4,960 lb
         
      DIMENSIONS  
      Fuselage length 33 ft 4 in
      Wing span 33 ft 5 in
           
    SILVER FALCONS COLOUR SCHEMES      
     ASTRA1HEADERNEW  
    Original colour scheme. Used from 1999 - 2008      
     ASTRA2HEADERNEW  
    Blue "Falcon" colour scheme. Used from 2008 - present  
       
    ADDITIONAL PHOTOS      
     astra red new three
     gh 20100814 73856
     
     
    avc sf4 160509 
       
    ILLUSTRATIONS COURTESY OF BRENT BEST
  • PC - 7 Mk II 3D

  • MB-326 IMPALA

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    INTRO    
    The Aermacchi or Macchi MB-326 is a light military jet aircraft designed in Italy. Originally conceived as a two-seat trainer, there have also been single and two-seat light attack versions produced. It is one of the most commercially successful aircraft of its type, being bought by more than 10 countries and produced under licence in Australia, Brazil and South Africa. It set many category records, including an altitude record of 56,807 ft (17,315 m) on 18 March 1966. More than 600 were built.
         
    DESIGN    
    The MB-326 was a low-wing monoplane with an all-metal (light alloy) structure. Powered by a Rolls-Royce Viper non-afterburning turbojet with low air-intakes in the wing roots. Each wing had 22 ribs and two spars. The fuel system had one large tank in the middle-fuselage and two in the wingtips. The aft fuselage was almost entirely dedicated to the engine, from just behind the wings. The cockpit had a tandem configuration, which was chosen to give a better aerodynamic fuselage (slimmer) than the more usual side-by-side arrangement. There was a long, low bubble canopy. The rear of each wing had flaps, and ailerons with a trim surface. 'Wing walls' were added mid-wing to increase the lift characteristics.
         
    SOUTH AFRICA    
    South Africa obtained a license to produce the MB-326M (similar to the 'G' model), as the Impala Mk I in 1964 with production starting in 1966. It received 40 Italian-built aircraft followed by about 125 built locally by the Atlas Aircraft Corporation, using them both as trainers and in an armed configuration. Seven examples of the MB-326K were also bought as light attack aircraft, with a further 15 assembled from kits, while around 78 were license-produced and known as the Impala Mk II. Licence production of the single seat version began in 1974. The Impala Mk. II, built in South Africa from an Italian design with a British engine and French guns were highly effective, they also had some Electronic Counter Measures to defend themselves.
    The Silver Falcons utilised the Impala Mk I from 1967 - 1999
         
    COCKPIT   GENERAL

    MB-326 cockpit

     

    WBB 0366-Impala

      Crew: Two
      Payload: 1,814 kg (4,000 lb)
      Length: 10.65m (34 ft 11¼ in)
      Wingspan: 10.56 m (34 ft 8 in)
      Height: 3.72 m (12 ft 2½ in)
      Wing area: 19.0 m² (204.5 ft²)
      Empty weight: 2,237 kg (4,930 lb)
      Max. takeoff weight: 3,765 kg (8,300 lb)
      Powerplant: 1 × Bristol Siddeley Viper Mk.11 turbojet, 11.1 kN (2,500 lbf)
       
      PERFORMANCE
      Never exceed speed: Mach 0.8
      Maximum speed: 806 km/h (436 knots, 501 mph) at 4,575m (15,000 ft)
      Stall speed: 146 km/h (79 knots , 91 mph) (wheels and flaps lowered)
      Range: 1,665 km (900 Nmi, 1,035 miles) with large tip tanks at 11,500 m (38,000 ft)
      Service ceiling: 12,500 m (41,000 ft)
      Rate of climb: 22.3 m/s (4,400 ft/min)
       
      ARMAMENT
      Guns: provision for 2 × 12.7 mm Browning machine guns in underwing pods
      Bombs: Up to 2000 lb (900 kg) of weapons on six hardpoints, including gun-pods, bombs, and rockets
         
    SILVER FALCONS COLOUR SCHEMES    
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    Original colour scheme. Used from 1967 - 1984/5  
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    Old South African flag colour scheme. Used from 1985 - 1994
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    Air Force colour scheme. Used from 1994 - 1999    
     
    ADDITIONAL PHOTOS    
     Gallery9VRV 0212E1

     

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    VRV 11418E1VRV 0048E1

     

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    VRV 0211E1silver-falcons-mb-326-23

     

    ILLUSTRATIONS COURTESY OF BRENT BEST
    PHOTOS: VERNON VICE AND OTHERS
  • PC - 7 Mk II
  • PC - 7 Mk II 3D
  • MB-326 IMPALA

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