The South African Air Force may be evaluating the Pacific Aircraft Corporation 750XL turboprop utility aircraft. A demonstration aircraft was observed performing at the Swartkop airfield last week Wednesday.
The aircraft is built by New Zealand based and is marketed in South Africa by Naturelink and may be a possible replacement for the Cessna 185s that were acquired in the 1960s and retired earlier this decade in the light battlefield observation and liaison role. For lack of alternatives a number of Cessna C208 Caravan is currently impressed in that role, fitted with Carl Zeiss Optronics LEO observation systems.
The unofficial SAAF website, www.saairforce.co.za reported in 2008 that the SAAF was then already evaluating the aircraft. It was also rumoured that the machine would be fitted with an under-fuselage pod could contain surveillance equipment. A number of PAC 750XLs are already operated in South Africa.
- Pilot + 9 passengers or 17 parachutists
- Maximum take off weight 7,500 lbs
- Payload 4,200 lbs
- Cruise 169 KTAS
- Endurance 5 hours with 45 minutes reserve
- Cabin 54 ” wide, 56″ high and 158″ aft of pilot
- Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34 750hp engine
- To 12,000 ft from brake release in 12 minutes