TYPE: Twin-turboprop transport.
PROGRAMME: Conceived in 1960s as jet-powered, V/STOL transport to NATO requirement (NBMR-4), but this version not developed. Original Fiat G222 designed by Giuseppe Gabrielli; two prototypes (lacking the pressurisation standard on later aircraft) flew on 18 July 1970 (MM582) and 22 July 1971 (MM583), both at Turin; MM582 handed over to Italian Air Force for operational evaluation on 21 December 1971. First production G222 (MM62101) flew 23 December 1975; deliveries began 21 November 1976 with single aircraft to Dubai, and to Italy on 21 April 1978. Tenth production aircraft was first to be built at Naples; 27th (March 1979) was 22nd and last built at Turin. Main users in Italy are 2° and 98° Gruppi of the 46ª Brigata Aerea at Pisa. Civil category R (equivalent to FAR Pt 25) certification granted to G222SAA by Italian airworthiness authority on 1 April 1997. Several subvariants for specific roles.
Improved version of G222 conceived during 1995 negotiations between Lockheed Martin and Alenia on potential offsets for proposed Italian purchase of C-130J Hercules; initially designated G222J, by reason of having C-130J flight deck features and improved (T64G) versions of the G222's engines with new four-blade propellers. Formally announced as a joint project in February 1996, when commonality with the C-130J was further increased by adoption of the Allison (now Rolls-Royce) AE 2100 as power plant, allied to six-blade propellers. Accordingly redesignated C-27J, to reflect the C-27A version of G222 delivered to the US Air Force. Feasibility phase February to September 1996; definition phase September 1996 to May 1997.
Development and certification costs being shared equally between Alenia Aerospazio and Lockheed Martin; latter responsible for propulsion systems, avionics, worldwide marketing and product support; Alenia for production, flight test and certification; promotion by Lockheed Martin Alenia Tactical Transport Systems. By 2003, Lockheed Martin reportedly seeking reduced participation through voluntary relegation to subcontractor.
Programme formally launched on 17 June 1997; 'propulsion test' prototype, a converted G222 demonstrator, rolled out at Turin/Caselle on 14 June 1999 and first flew (c/n 4043; I-CERX) 24 September 1999; initial testing completed second quarter of 2000; modified for certification trials and resumed flying on propulsion system, performance and handling evaluation.
Second C-27J and initial new-build aircraft, 4115/J-FBAX, first flew 12 May 2000; first with advanced flight deck and full avionics, new APU and new landing gear; achieved 54 hours/23 sorties in initial two months; available for sale after completion of civil certification trials. Third prototype, 4033/MMCSX62127, converted from Italian Air Force G222TCM, first flew 8 September 2000 returned to IAF after DGAA civil certification, which achieved on 20 June 2001. Military type certificate awarded 20 December 2001, following 445 sortie, 793 hour programme. First two batches, totalling 10, under construction (long lead items) by 1999. Final assembly remains in Italy only.
CURRENT VERSIONS: Transport: As described.
AEW: Airborne early warning version proposed in 1998, employing Ericsson Erieye system, as fitted to Saab S 100B Argus.
Firefighter: Proposed with 2,200 kg (4,850 lb) mission system and 6,800 kg (14,991 lb) of retardant liquid.
Aerial Sprayer: Proposed with 2,200 kg (4,850 lb) mission system; capable of covering 50 hectares (124 acres) at 150 litres/hectare (16 US gallons; 13.0 Imp gallons/acre).
CUSTOMERS: Italian Air Force announced proposed launch order for 12 on 11 November 1999, although this not signed until 27 June 2002 and for initial quantity of five; deliveries planned to begin in mid-2005 and be completed in late 2006. Greek Air Force C-27J on 1 March 2002, proposing 12 plus three options, and signed contract for 12 on 17 January 2003; deliveries to begin in mid-2004 and end 12 months later. Up to 500 sales anticipated over a 20 year period, mostly to existing Hercules operators. Lockheed Martin co-markets the aircraft. Sales targets include Argentina, Brazil (12) and Taiwan (18 to 22); also promoted for US Army's 40-aircraft Aerial Common Sensor programme and to US Army National Guard (44) as replacement for Shorts Sherpas.
COSTS: €24.75 million (Greek programme unit cost, 2003).
DESIGN FEATURES: Conventional tactical transport configuration of high wing, pannier-mounted main landing gear and upswept rear fuselage with integral loading ramp.
Intended to complement the Lockheed Martin Hercules. Upgraded G222 with new, two-crew flight deck and increased performance. Propulsion system, cargo loading system and many of the avionics and flight controls are adapted from the C-130J Hercules. Compared with the G222, the C-27J is intended to provide increases of 35 per cent in range, 30 per cent cruise ceiling, 15 per cent high-speed cruise and over 200 per cent payload/range/speed; maintainability and reliability are scheduled to increase by 100 per cent for the engine, 275 per cent for propeller, 150 per cent for other systems and 30 per cent for avionics, resulting in a saving of 30 per cent in operating costs (including 5 per cent off fuel).
Wing has max thickness/chord ratio of 15 per cent. Dihedral 2° 30' on outer panels.
FLYING CONTROLS: Conventional; manually actuated ailerons and elevators; powered rudder. Ailerons each have inset servo tab. Two-section hydraulically actuated spoilers ahead of each outboard flap segment, used also as lift dumpers on landing. Double-slotted flaps extend over 60 per cent of trailing-edge. Spoilers and flaps fully powered by tandem hydraulic actuators. Rudder fully powered by tandem hydraulic actuators. Two tabs in each elevator; no rudder tabs.
STRUCTURE: Wing of aluminium alloy three-spar fail-safe box structure, built in three portions. One-piece constant chord centre-section fits into recess in top of fuselage and is secured by bolts at six main points. Outer panels tapered on leading- and trailing-edges. Upper surface skins are of 7075-T6 alloy, lower surface skins of 2024-T3 alloy. All control surfaces have bonded metal skins with metal honeycomb core.
Pressurised fail-safe fuselage of aluminium alloy stressed skin construction and circular cross-section. Easily removable stiffened floor panels. Cantilever safe-life tai surfaces of aluminium alloy, with sweptback three-spar fin and slightly swept two-spar variable incidence tailplane.
Subcontractors include Aermacchi (outer wings), Piaggio (wing centre-section), Agusta (tail unit), Magnaghi (landing gear) and Aeronavali Venezia (airframe components).
LANDING GEAR: Hydraulically retractable tricycle type, suitable for use from prepared runways, semi-prepared strips or grass fields. Main gear built by APPH; nose gear by Magnaghi. Steerable twin-wheel nose unit retracts forward. Main units, each consisting of two single wheels in tandem, retract into fairings on sides of fuselage. Oleo-pneumatic shock-absorbers. Gear can be lowered by gravity in emergency, the nose unit being aided by aerodynamic action and the main units by the shock-absorbers, which remain compressed in the retracted position. Oleo pressure in shock-absorbers is adjustable to permit variation in height and attitude of cabin floor from ground. Low-pressure tubeless tyres on all units, size 39x13 (14/16 ply) on mainwheels, 29x11.00-12 or 29x11.00-10 (10 ply) on nosewheels. Tyre pressures 4.41 bar (64 lb/sq in) on main units, 3.92 bar (57 lb/sq in) on nose unit. Hydraulic multidisc brakes.
POWER PLANT: Two Rolls-Royce AE 2100D2 turboprops, each rated at 3,460 kW (4,640 shp), driving Dowty R391 six-blade composites propellers. Fuel in integral tanks; two in outer wings, combined capacity 6,800 litres (1,796 US gallons; 1,495 Imp gallons); two centre-section tanks, combined capacity 5,200 litres (1,374 US gallons; 1,143 Imp gallons); crossfeed provision to either engine. Total overall fuel capacity 12,000 litres (3,170 US gallons; 2,638 Imp gallons).
ACCOMMODATION: Two-pilot crew on flight deck with third seat; provision for loadmaster or jumpmaster when required. Crew door, port, forward; Type III emergency door, starboard, forward; paratroop door each side, immediately rear of sponsons; rear loading ramp; emergency hatches (three) in roof, above flight deck and level with leading- and trailing edges.
Standard troop transport version has 34 foldaway sidewall seats and 12 stowable seats for 46 fully equipped troops (62 in high density). Paratroop transport can carry between 34 (normal) and 46 (maximum) fully equipped paratroops, and is fitted with 32 sidewall seats, plus eight stowable seats, door jump platforms and static lines. Cargo transport version can accept standard pallets of up to 2.24 m (88 in) wide, and can carry up to 9,000 kg (19,841 lb) of freight. Hydraulically operated rear-loading ramp and upward-opening door in underside of upswept rear fuselage, which can be opened in flight for airdrop operations. Five pallets of up to 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) each can be airdropped from rear opening, or single pallet of up to 5,000 kg (11,023 lb). Paratroop jumps can be made either from this opening or from rear side doors. Medical evacuation accommodation for 36 stretchers and six attendants. Entire accommodation pressurised.
SYSTEMS: Pressurisation system maintains a cabin differential of 0.41 bar (5.97 lb/sq in), giving a 1,200 m (3,940 ft) environment at altitudes up to 6,000 m (19,680 ft). Air conditioning system uses engine bleed air during flight; on ground, it is fed by compressor bleed air from APU to provide cabin heating to a minimum of 18°C. Honeywell 113 kW (152 hp) APU, installed in starboard main landing gear fairing, provides power for engine starting, hydraulic pump and alternator actuation, air conditioning on ground, and all hydraulic and electrical systems necessary for loading and unloading on ground.
Two independent hydraulic systems, each of 207 bar (3,000 lb/sq in) pressure. No.1 system actuates flaps, spoilers, rudder, wheel brakes and (in emergency only) landing gear extension; No.2 system actuates flaps, spoilers, rudder, wheel brakes, nosewheel steering, landing gear extension and retraction, rear ramp/door and windscreen wipers. Auxiliary hydraulic system, fed by APU-powered pump, can take over from No.2 system in flight, if both main systems fail, to operate essential services. In addition, a standby hand pump is provided for emergency use to lower the landing gear and, on the ground, to operate the ramp/door and parking brakes.
Three 45 kVA alternators, one driven by each engine through constant-speed drive units and one by the APU, provide 115/200 V three-phase AC electrical power at 400 Hz. 28 V DC power is supplied from the main AC busses via two transformer-rectifiers, with 24 V 34 Ah Ni/Cd battery and static inverter for standby and emergency power. External AC power socket. Engine intakes anti-iced by electrical/hot air system. Pneumatically inflated de-icing boots on outer wing leading-edges, and fin and tailplane leading-edges, using engine bleed air. Liquid oxygen system for crew and passengers (with cabin wall outlets); this system can be replaced by a gaseous oxygen system if required. Emergency oxygen system available for all occupants in the event of a pressurisation failure.
AVIONICS: Radar: Northrop Grumman AN/APN-241.
Instrumentation: Five-screen EFIS based on C-130J flight deck. Radar integrated with moving map display. NVG-compatible.