MIELEC, Poland --- An M28 short take-off and landing (STOL) aircraft manufactured at PZL Mielec, a Sikorsky plant in Poland, Lockheed Martin has arrived in Ecuador following a trans-Atlantic flight from Poland. The twin-engined turboprop will meet the Ecuadorian Army’s need for a proven multi-role transport aircraft that can perform in diverse climates and terrain.
The Ecuadorian Army contracted for the aircraft in April this year. PZL Mielec conducted training for Army pilots and mechanics training in Poland. A Polish crew piloted the aircraft 13,500 km via Iceland and Greenland across the Atlantic Ocean to Canada, the United States and Central America to Shell Mera in Ecuador, where the aircraft was officially accepted by the Army.
“We are very proud that Ecuador has joined to the group of M28 aircraft users,” said Janusz Zakręcki, president and general director of PZL Mielec. “The M28 aircraft’s unique flight and performance attributes are ideally suited to meet the Army’s missions across Ecuador’s diverse climates and terrain.”
A proven, durable and reliable STOL aircraft, the M28 aircraft can operate from any type of runway or airstrip inaccessible by other airplanes, and can fly in extreme environmental conditions and temperatures ranging from +50° C to -50° C.
Currently, over 100 M28 planes are used worldwide, both in commercial and military configurations. Among other missions, they perform passenger transport, parachutist training, border patrol and supervision over fisheries. The Polish Air Force successfully uses the M28 Bryza variant for both maritime and transport operations.
The M28 aircraft weighs 7,500 kg (16,500 pounds) and can be equipped with 19 passenger seats, or transport up to 2,300 kg (5,000 pounds) of cargo, as well as perform parachute missions via the rear cabin door.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 100,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.