The A-29 Super Tucano is making a first-time appearance at Embraer’s AirVenture booth in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, next week. The Super Tucano was in the news earlier this year after beating Hawker Beechcraft’s T-6 for an Air Force contract worth more than $350 million for 20 airplanes slated to go to the Afghan military, a deal that was later negated after Hawker Beechcraft filed a lawsuit.
The light combat airplane, which was introduced two decades ago, is powered by a single 1,600 SHP fadec Pratt & Whitney turboprop engine. The airplane was designed for strength. It has the ability to withstand +7/-3.5 Gs and the airframe’s fatigue life is 12,000-18,000 hours depending on the type of operation. The Super Tucano is also armored to protect the pilot and has a missile approach warning system (MAWS) and a radar warning receiver (RWR) to alert the pilot of a potential threat.
Though it’s unlikely that Embraer will allow visitors to climb into the Super Tucano’s cockpit, what they would find is a full glass panel with special equipment such as forward-looking infrared (FLIR), head-up display (HUD) with an up front control panel (UFCP) and an embedded GPS/INS and radar altimeter (EGIR).
The avionics are integrated with the airplane’s armament, which includes two 0.50-inch machine guns and five additional hard points to which 3,300 pounds of weaponry can be attached.
You wouldn’t want to get in the way of a Super Tucano and regardless of the controversy surrounding the military turboprop it will definitely be an impressive addition to Embraer’s display, which will also feature the Phenom 100 and 300 light jets.