IAI Arava-Israeli light STOL utility transport aircraft
By Willie Bodenstein
The Israeli Aerospace Industries' (IAI) Arava with its distinctive egg shaped fuselage and twin tail booms looks like no other aircraft, but nevertheless has a beauty all of its own.
IAI, originally the Bedek Aviation Company, was founded in 1953 in order to maintain the assets of the Israeli Defence Forces. The company is wholly owned by the government of Israel and originally manufactured aircraft under licence. The Arava on which design work began in 1965 was the first major indigenous aircraft project to be manufactured by IAI.
The main objectives in the design brief were for a STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing) performance aircraft for both the civilian and military markets able to operate from rough airstrips. It was to carry bulky cargo or 24 fully equipped troops or 16 paratroopers in military configuration. In the civilian configuration the specifications called for 20 passengers in economy configuration or 16 in VIP configuration.
24 fully equipped troops or
Payload: 2,351 kg (5,184 lb)
Length: 12.69 m (41 ft 6 in)
Wingspan: 20.96 m (68 ft 9 in)
Height: 5.21 m (17 ft 1 in)
Wing area: 43.68 m≤ (470.2 ft2)
Empty weight: 3,999 kg (8,816 lb)
Maximum take-off weight: 6,804 kg (15,000 lb)
Powerplant: 2 ◊ Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 turboprops, 559 kW (750 shp) each
Maximum speed: 326 km/h (215 knots, 247 mph) at 3,050 m (10,000 ft)
Cruise speed: 319 km/h (176 knots, 203 mph) at 3,050 m (10,000 ft)
Stall speed: 115 km/h (62 knots, 71.5 mph)) flaps down
Range: 1,056 km (570 nmi, 656 mi) max fuel
Service ceiling: 7,620 m (25,000 ft)
Rate of climb: 6.6 m/s (1,290 ft/min)
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