- Aug 23, 2020
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Leonardo's new M-345 Tutor II basic trainer aircraft is one of the cornerstones of the company's offer for the Canadian Future Aircrew Training program.
Leonardo’s M-345 Tutor II basic trainer aircraft, which entered service with the Italian Air Force in December last year, is one of the cornerstones of the company’s offer for the Canadian Future Aircrew Training (FAcT) program.
According to Test Pilot Quirino Bucci, Head of Test Pilot Training Programs for Leonardo’s Aircraft Division, the turbofan powered high efficiency trainer has a lifecycle cost comparable to those of heavy turboprop trainers, with better performance. The maintenance needed is minimal. The M-345, which is made chiefly using composite material, has a fatigue life of 15,000 flight hours.
“The aircraft is designed to ensure the maximum level of safety and comfort,” added Bucci. “The aircraft has ideal field of view for both the student pilot and the instructor. It includes two latest generation Martin Baker ejection seats, an on board oxygen generation system (OBOGS) and an environmental control system (ECS).”
Heir to a long tradition in jet trainers with the Aermacchi MB-326 and MB-339 – highly successful aircraft with over 1,000 units produced and that entered into service with air forces worldwide – the M-345 proposes the concept of a simple, efficient, high-performance basic-advanced jet trainer, fast and highly manoeuvrable, giving student pilots a true “jet experience” unmatched by competitors’ turboprop trainers.
Ideally suited for Canada’s entire training syllabus, the Aermacchi M-345 Tutor II is poised to provide comprehensive basic and advanced flight training for Royal Canadian Air Force student pilots that is scalable, innovative and customizable.
For performance, low operating costs and attractive looks, the M-345 Tutor II is also an ideal candidate to represent Canada in the livery of the Showbirds aerobatic team, potentially replacing the aging CT-114 Tutor still currently in service.
The first units of the M-345 Tutor II entered service at the Italian Air Force 61st Wing in Galatina (Lecce) in December last year.