Tecnam - Reliable General Aviation With Sturdy Roots
Tecnam, based in Capua, Italy, is the world’s second-largest General Aviation aircraft manufacturer and has been in business since 1948 offering more than 33 models and variants of single and twin engine, and Light Sport Aircraft (LSA). The company is well known worldwide and recently announced that they are establishing a corporate subsidiary in Australia. In March 2017, Tecnam lost their founder, president, chief preliminary design officer, and indeed an aviation pioneer Luigi “Gino” Pascale, at the age of 93.
The two-seater Tecnam P92 has been the company’s most popular design with more than 2,500 taking to the skies worldwide. In the first three quarters of 2017, Tecnam shipped 132 aircraft worth $31.5 million, with light sport models and the P2006T being the popular choice. In October and November 2017, Tecnam U.S. completed delivery of three out of 30 P2006T twin-engine aircraft with Special Mission Platform (SMP) configuration. The aircraft are part of an order (24 month delivery contract) for a geospatial data acquisition company that is modernizing its fleet. There is an option for 24 additional P2006T (SMP) following delivery of the first 30. Tecnam CEO Paolo Pascale, stated that the P2006T is the right platform to bring geospatial data sensing up to date.
The P2006T is also assisting NASA in an experimental electric plane concept – the X-57. The X-57 is a modified P2006T powered by an electric propulsion system. An existing aircraft design is used so that data from the baseline model, powered by traditional combustion engines, can be compared to data produced by the same model powered by electric propulsion. NASA engineers are then able to measure precisely the increase in efficiency through the electric system.
In April 2017, Tecnam announced upgrades to three of its aircraft – the P2010, P2006T Twin, and P2002 Sierra. The P2010 will now come with a Lycoming IO-390 engine and a VP prop as well as Automated Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out and the G1000 Nxi flight deck (optional). As of 2015, only ADS-B Out is mandated by the FAA, which states that all aircraft operating in designated airspace must be equipped with ADS-B Out by January 1, 2020. The P2006T twin, the company’s top-selling aircraft, now comes with the Garmin G1000 Nxi next-generation flight deck, ADS-B Out, and a new seat design. The latest version of the P2002 LSA will feature the Rotax 915 iS/iSC 135-HP engine, which offers full take-off power of up to at least 15,000 feet and a service ceiling of 23,000 feet.
Other deliveries on the cards are the Tecnam P2010 for the Government Flying Training School (GFTS) in Jakkur, Bangalore, India, which is set to arrive in mid-January 2018. The P2010 is a four-seat, single engine light aircraft of mixed metal and carbon-fibre construction with a range of 600 nautical miles and a cruising speed of around 250km/h. In September 2017, Cape Air, based in Massachusetts, U.S., and Tecnam announced an agreement for the delivery of the first 20 out of an order of 100 P2012 Traveller aircraft. The P2012 Travellers are expected to enter service in early 2019 and will replace the Cessna 402. The P2012 Traveller was Luigi Pascale’s final design.
Written by Sylvia Caravotas (Satovarac Consulting) for OIDA