RAF designation: Tucano T. Mk 1

TYPE: Basic trainer.

PROGRAMME: Co-operation agreement between Shorts and Embraer of Brazil to develop new version of EMB-312 Tucano, to meet or exceed all UK MoD Air Staff Target 412 requirements as Jet Provost replacement for RAF, announced May 1984; selected by UK Government 21 March 1985, partly because least expensive of competitors; first flight of EMB-312 with required Garrett engine (PP-ZTC) in Brazil 14 February 1986; airfreighted to UK after 14.35 flight test hours, reassembled as G-14-007 (later G-BTUC); first flight of G-14-007 in UK 11 April 1986; first flight of production T. Mk 1 (ZF135) 30 December 1986; formal rollout 20 January 1987; ZF135 delivered to Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment, Boscombe Down, 26 June 1987 for provisional type certificate trials; ZF136 to Boscombe Down 1 October 1987; deliveries to Central Flying School, Scampton, began (with ZF 138) 16 June 1988; flying by Tucano Course Design Team (CFS) started early August 1988; formal handover of first aircraft 1 September 1988; Shorts contracted January 1990 to modify first 50 completed aircraft with strengthened flying controls, revised communications/navigation equipment and structural changes to extend fatigue life, as introduced on production line. Shorts also responsible for logistic supplies; Airwork has maintenance contract at Church Fenton and Field Aircraft at Cranwell; five GEC Ferranti simulators delivered to bases from 1990.

CUSTOMERS: Initially, 130 for RAF; student flying began at No. 7 FTS, Church Kenton, December 1989; first solo 11 January 1990; course completed 7 September 1990. Course Design Team disbanded November 1989 and CFS Tucano Squadron began working up to 15 aircraft; 30 aircraft to No. 3 FTS at RAF College, Cranwell, from December 1990 onwards; 39 to No. 1 FTS at Linton-on-Ouse 1991; final recipients, Refresher Flying Flight (Church Fenton) and navigator school, No. 6 FTS (Finningley); 50th RAF Tucano delivered 30 August 1990. RAF's baseline Tucano course 146 h 30 min for students with 30-60 hours previous piston-engine training; helicopter pilots receive 63½ Tucano hours; multi-engined aircraft pilots 140 hours. Exports to Kenya (12 armed T. Mk 51s for weapons training), ordered 1988 and first flown ('811', temporarily ZH203) 11 October 1989; delivered from 14 June 1990. Kuwait (16 T. Mk 52s and support equipment, including simulator); first aircraft (temporarily ZH506) flown 21 September 1990.
Main description of Tucano under Embraer heading in Brazilian section. Shorts Tucano T. Mk 1 for RAF differs in following respects.

DESIGN FEATURES: Based on EMB-312, but only 25 percent commonality. Modifications include TPE331-12B engine offering higher speed (particularly at low level) and increased rate of climb; ventral airbrake to control descent speed; structural strengthening for increased manoeuvre loads and fatigue life (12,000 hours); new cockpit layout; use of UK equipment; wing incidence 1° 13'; four wing strong-points for armament training/light attack (for exports).

FLYING CONTROLS: Strengthened; hydraulically actuated ventral airbrake.

STRUCTURE: 7075-T73511 and 7075-T76, and 2024-T3 sheet, aluminium alloy two-spar wing torsion box; strengthened wing leading-edges against bird strikes.

LANDING GEAR: Nosewheel unit supplied by Fairey Hydraulics. Dunlop wheels and tyres, size 22 x 6.75-10 on mainwheels, 5.00-5 on nosewheel. Dunlop hydraulic single-disc brakes on mainwheels.

POWER PLANT: One 820 kW (1,100 shp) Garrett TPE331-12B turboprop, driving a Hartzell four-blade constant-speed fully feathering reversible-pitch propeller. Additional 38 kW (51 ehp) derived from exhaust. Two integral fuel tanks in each wing, total capacity 694 litres (183.3 US gallons: 152.7 Imp gallons). Gravity refuelling point in each wing upper surface. Provision for two external tanks with total capacity of 640 litres (169 US gallons; 142 Imp gallons). Oil capacity 4.25 litres (1.13 US gallons; 0.94 Imp gallon).

ACCOMMODATION: Instructor and pupil in tandem, on Martin-Baker Mk 8LCP lightweight ejection seats under Lucas canopy. No pressurisation.

SYSTEMS: Cockpit air-conditioning by engine bleed air plus recirculated cockpit air through a regenerative turbofan system. Single hydraulic system, pressure 207 bars (3,000 lb/sq in), for landing gear extension and retraction, and airbrake. Accumulator to lower landing gear in emergency. DC electrical power provided by a 28V 200A starter/generator and two 24Ah alkaline batteries. Static inverter for 115V and 26V AC power at 400Hz. Normalair-Garrett oxygen system supplied from a single bottle, capacity 2,250 litres (80 cu ft). Emergency oxygen bottle, capacity 70 litres (2.5 cu ft), mounted on each ejection seat. Engine air intake de-iced by engine bleed air; propeller, pilot head, static vents, and stall warning system de-iced electrically.

AVIONICS: Standard avionics include VHF/UHF/audio by GEC-Marconi, GEC-Plessey and Dowty; gyromagnetic compass. VOR/ILS/marker beacon receiver, GEC Sensors AD2780 Tacan, and Narco transponder.

ARMAMENT: Optional provision on export variants for up to 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) of weapons distributed on four underwing pylons fitted with ML Aviation ejector release units. Details as for Embraer Tucano. Equipment specified for Kenya includes FN Herstal rocket pods and Forges de Zeebrugge 12.7 mm gun pods; and an ML Aviation stores management system, including Avimo weapon sights, Base Ten weapon control electronics and other equipment from Dowty and Guardian Electronics.