The PZL M28 Skytruck is a Polish STOL light cargo and passenger plane, produced by PZL Mielec, as a development of licence-built Antonov An-28. Early licence-built planes were designated PZL An-28. The maritime patrol and reconnaissance variants are named PZL M28B Bryza ("sea breeze").
Design and development
The Antonov An-28 was the winner of a competition against the Beriev Be-30 for a new light passenger and utility transport for Aeroflot's short haul routes, conceived to replace highly successful An-2 biplane. The An-28 is substantially derived from the earlier An-14. Commonality with the An-14 includes the high wing layout, twin fins and rudders, but it differs in having a new and far larger fuselage, plus turboprop engines. The original powerplant was the TVD-850, but production versions are powered by the more powerful TVD-10B, with three-blade propellers.
The An-28 made its first flight as the An-14M in September 1969 in the Ukraine. A subsequent preproduction aircraft first flew in April 1975. Production of the An-28 was then transferred to Poland's PZL Mielec in 1978, although it was not until July 22, 1984 that the first Polish-built production aircraft flew. The An-28's Soviet type certificate was awarded in April 1986.
PZL Mielec has become the sole source for production An-28s. Basic variant, not differing from the Soviet one, was designated PZL An-28 and powered with PZL-10S (licence-built TVD-10B) engines. They were built mostly for the USSR, until it broke up. The plane was next developed by the PZL Mielec into a westernised version powered by 820kW (1100shp) Pratt & Whitney PT6A-65B turboprops with five-blade Hartzell propellers, plus some western (BendixKing) avionics (a distinguishing feature are exhaust pipes, sticking out on sides of engine nacelles). Designated the PZL M28 Skytruck, first flight was on 24 July 1993 and it is in limited production, mostly for export (39 produced by 2006). The type received Polish certification in March 1996, and US FAR Part 23 certificate on 19 March 2004.
Apart from the Skytruck, PZL Mielec developed a family of militarized light transport and maritime reconnaissance planes for the Polish Air Force and Polish Navy in the 1990s, with original PZL-10S engines, named PZL M28B in the Air Force and Bryza in the Navy. From 2000, newly produced M28Bs started to be equipped with five-blade propellers as well.
It is a twin-engined high-wing strutted monoplane of all-metal structure, with twin vertical fins and a robust tricycle non-retractable landing gear, featuring a steerable nose wheel to provide for operation from short, unprepared runways where hot or high altitude conditions may exist. The M28 is best suited for passenger and/or cargo transportation.
While of conventional design, one notable feature of the An-28 is that it will not stall, due to its automatic slats. An engine failure that would usually induce the wing to drop 30° is combated by an automatic spoiler forward of the aileron that opens on the opposite wing, restricting wing drop to 12° in five seconds.
176 An-28s and M28s in all variants were built in Poland by 2006. Most numerous users are former Soviet civil aviation and the Polish Air Force and Navy (about 25 as of 2006), less numerous are used by the Polish civil aviation and in the USA, Nepal, Colombia, Venezuela, Vietnam and Indonesia.
On 12 February 2009, AirForceTimes reported that the U.S Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) would receive 10 PZL M28 Skytrucks in June of 2009.
Variants in use by Polish Military
Specifications (PZL M28)
Published - July 2009
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