The Arava was IAI's first major aircraft design to enter production. It was intended both for the military and civil market, but the aircraft was only built in relatively small numbers. The customers were found mainly in third world countries, especially in Central- and South America as well as Swaziland and Thailand.
The design work on the Arava began in 1966, and the design objectives included STOL performance, the ability to operate from rough strips and carry 25 troops or bulky payloads. To achieve this, the Arava design was of a relatively unusual configuration. Its fuselage was barrel-like, short but wide, and the rear of the fuselage was hinged and could swing open for easy loading and unloading. Its wing span was long and the twin tails were mounted on booms that ran from the engine nacelles. The aircraft was powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A turboprops.
The Arava first flew on November 27, 1969, while a second prototype flew for the first time on May 8, 1971. Production ended in 1988. More than 90 aircraft were produced, including 70 for the military market. It is still in operation in some countries.
The military version could also be equipped with a range of weapons, in order to act in anti-submarine- or gunship roles. The weapon configuration could include two machine guns in fuselage side packs (usually 0.5" Browning), plus a third gun on the rear fuselage, and two pods containing 6 x 82 mm rocket pods or torpedoes or sonar buoys on the fuselage sides.
Specifications IAI Arava
Data from All the World's Rotorcraft
Published in July 2009.
Copyright 2004-2024 © by Airports-Worldwide.com, Vyshenskoho st. 36, Lviv 79010, Ukraine