The Britten-Norman Trislander (more formally designated the BN-2A Mk III Trislander) is an 18-seat three-engined piston-powered civilian utility aircraft produced in the 1970s and early 1980s by Britten-Norman of Britain. The aircraft were produced on the Isle of Wight. They were also produced in Romania, and delivered via Belgium to Britain for their certification.
Design and development
Designed by John Britten and Desmond Norman, the Trislander is a further development of Britten-Norman's better-known Islander aircraft in order to give it a larger carrying capacity. In comparison with the Islander, the Trislander has a stretched fuselage, strengthened, fixed tricycle landing gear and a third engine. The third engine is a tractor engine mounted on the fuselage centre line atop the vertical stabilizer.
The prototype of the Trislander, which was constructed from the original second Islander prototype, first flew on 11 September 1970. Initial production ceased in 1982 after 73 were ordered. As of January 2008, Britten-Norman is preparing a second production run of the Trislander.
The Trislander has exceptional low speed handling characteristics, extended endurance, increased payload, low noise signature and economical operating costs. Capable of taking off from a 450 meter long landing strip, the Trislander can readily operate from unprepared surfaces.
The most recent crash was 15 December 2008 by LAP in Puerto Rico. The aircraft crashed somewhere near the Turks and Caicos. This was the first crash since 2005. The aircraft probably crashed into the sea shortly after the distress call. A spokesman for the Asociación Nacional de Pilotos reported that the pilot had his licence suspended in October 2006.
Published in July 2009.
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