CN235: The robust and affordable workhorse
The well-proven CN235 is the lowest cost solution to meet the needs and requirements of governments and air forces, as well as non-governmental organisations in the light and medium airlift field. Able to carry up to six tonnes / 13,200lb of payload, or up to 51 personnel, the CN235 has gained vast experience in daily airlift missions, in the deployment and logistic support of peacekeeping forces and in disaster relief operations or any other ‘civic’ missions for the benefit of society. In addition, and thanks to its versatility and multi-mission capabilities, it is also widely used for maritime surveillance and homeland security applications.
The CN235 is able to cruise at altitudes up to 25,000ft, and speeds up to 245kt / 454 km/h, while retaining remarkable low level flight characteristics, as well as short take-off & landing (STOL) capabilities. Powered by two General Electric GE CT7-9CE, 1,750 shp turboprop engines, the CN235 provides excellent manoeuvrability, fast engine response, outstanding hot and high performance, low fuel consumption and consequently a very long endurance of up to 11 hours.
The current CN235 model in production (CN235-300) was certified in 1998 It benefits from simple systems design and robustness, excellent flying qualities, and great versatility, as well as remarkable transport capabilities. All this makes it a true and highly efficient “workhorse”, with the lowest fuel burn, and the best operating and maintenance costs in its category. The civil and military certification of the CN235 ensures compliance with the international airworthiness regulations and safety standards, including the stringent requirements of the US FAA and the European EASA.
The CN235’s reliability and dependability has also been widely demonstrated. In service with some 40 operators worldwide, the aircraft has accumulated over one million flight hours. And with more than 270 sold , the CN235 is the best selling airlifter in the light/medium segment.
The cabin: right sized for daily missions
The CN235 offers an unobstructed, constant fuselage section, 9.65 m / 31.7 ft long, with a pressurised cabin which can be quickly changed, with minimum tools and manpower, from a cargo carrier to a personnel transporter
, or to a medical evacuation aircraft.
In its cargo role, the CN235, which is fitted with a reinforced heavy-duty floor, can carry up to six tonnes / 13,100 lb of cargo. It can accommodate palletised cargo. Options include four military standard 88in x 108in HCU-6/E pallets - 463L system-, including one on the ramp, or up to eight 88in x 54in pallets. It can also carry bulk cargo, and can be used for aerial delivery with direct off-loading through its rear ramp.
The full-width rear ramp door allows easy loading/offloading of bulky items such as light vehicles or up to three fighter engines, and allows full cargo interoperability with CH-47 Chinook helicopters and C-130 aircraft. The ramp can be opened in flight at speeds of up to 160 kt for aerial delivery. In addition to the ramp, the CN235 is equipped with one crew door and two paratrooper doors.
When used for personnel transportation, it can accommodate 51 seats, including a central seat row, or carry 35 paratroops plus one jumpmaster on just the foldable lateral seats.. The CN235 can also be used for medical evacuation
operations, with 18 stretchers and four medical attendants, or an Intensive Care Unit.
Short Take-Off & Landing (STOL) Capability
The CN235’s STOL capability combined with a strong landing gear with tandem low-pressure tyres, enables it to operate in the most austere locations with the worst conditions for take-off and landing. The aircraft has a light footprint to enable operations from short (less than 550 m / 1800 ft), soft, rough and unprepared airstrips, performing up to (up to 200 passes in CBR 4.
The CN235 is also designed to provide outstanding low-level flight characteristics for tactical missions, flying at speeds down to 100 kt, and even lower (STOL landing speed is less than 95 kt at maximum weight). Its excellent handling qualities, high manoeuvrability and fast engine response (two General Electric GE CT7-9CE-3, 1750 shp) allow safe critical operations at low altitude.
Outstanding Survivability and Reliability
The CN235 was designed to operate in the most austere environments for extended periods of time without the need for ground support equipment. Its simple systems and robust structure ensure the highest – and proven – reliability. Together with easy supportability, this results in high aircraft availability and the lowest maintenance and life cycle cost (LCC) in its class. Its rugged structure coupled with outstanding manoeuvrability and excellent low level and STOL performance, also contribute to its survivability in tactical missions.
The Response to Current Needs
The versatility of the CN235 makes it the ideal platform for numerous military missions and many other “civic” tasks for the benefit of society. It is today performing a multitude of missions from personnel, troop and bulky/palletised cargo transportation to casualty evacuation, communication and logistic duties, search and rescue, surveillance and control, homeland security, and certified air-dropping capabilities, with the lowest configuration change time.
A key to the aircraft’s unique patrol and surveillance capabilities isits Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS)
Entirely conceived and developed by Airbus Military, FITS integrates, controls and displays the mission sensors, enhancing the mission awareness and facilitating the decision making.
Military operations: Proven in the Service of Armed Forces
The CN235 aircraft is combat proven and has successfully completed missions in hot and high altitude conditions, desert, maritime, and cold/icy conditions, including in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan, or in other environments such as in Central and South America, or in Africa.
In its Transport role, It is used for:
• Tactical transport of troops and the required logistic supplies (water, food, ammunition, medical supplies, spare parts) from the main operating base to the forward bases, and among forward locations. The CN235 can operate int and from short, soft, unprepared airstrips not accessible to heavier aircraft.
• Airdrop of paratroops and loads, with the use of 88in-width platforms and container delivery system (CDS) A22 bundles.
• Casualty evacuation ( Casevac) / Medical evacuation (Medevac) using either basic litters or mobile intensive care units (ICU) with life support equipment.
For its Surveillance (ISR) role:
The CN235 ISR is a long endurance maritime surveillance aircraft capable to perform the most demanding intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions including:
• Homeland Security (Anti-terrorism, anti-piracy, drug interdiction)
• Law enforcement (Immigration control, marine pollution control)
• Search and Rescue (SAR)
• Exclusive Economic Zone control (EEZ Control)
• Support to Natural Disasters.
Other special versions are: Gunship
(Close Air Support to ground troops, convoys, facilities, etc), Tactical Aerial Refuelling (to increase the radius of action for combat SAR or Special Ops helicopters).
Either for a single type transport fleet, or as a versatile and efficient complement to heavy airlifters and transport helicopters, the CN235 has a solid reputation in the Service of Armed Forces. Thirty two nations operate the CN235/295 light/medium airlifters to complement their C-130-class aircraft, including Abu Dhabi, Brazil, France, Jordan, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain and Turkey.
Civic / Humanitarian missions
The CN235 is ideal for any kind of “civic” / humanitarian missions for the benefit of society. Robust, solid, rugged, and with outstanding low-level flight and short take-off and landing characteristics from unprepared rough, soft and short airstrips, and also with an endurance of up to 11 hours, the CN235 has amply demonstrated its worth in such types of operations. Furthermore, when fitted with Airbus Military’s unique Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS), the CN235 is able to perform the most demanding ISR missions with a highly efficient solution and without risks.
The CN235’s “civic” activities include humanitarian and disaster relief missions, as well as surveillance and control operations.
Humanitarian relief missions
CN235s from the French Air Force and US Coast Guard were among the first aircraft providing support in Haiti after the tragic earthquake in 2010.
• Transport of medical and emergency personnel
, police and security forces, peacekeeping troops, evacuation of civil population affected by natural disasters or conflicts.
• Transport of first-aid supplies (water, food, medicines, tents…), electric generators, water-treatment equipment.
• Airdrop of humanitarian aid
• Medical evacuation (Medevac) of ill/injured patients
The CN235 can bring supplies to populations living in very remote areas (isolated islands, deserts, etc). When fitted with the FITS for surveillance purposes, the CN235 is the preferred aircraft for Intelligence and Surveillance (ISR) missions., such as:
• Maritime pollution and deterrence: During the Gulf of Mexico oil rig disaster for example, the US Coast Guard used the aircraft extensively to monitor the spreading of oil pollution and for other control missions.
• Anti-drug smuggling operations
• Control of illegal immigration
• Anti-piracy operations
• Control of illegal fishery
• Wild deforestation
The CN235 structure has been designed to be simple, robust and reliable in order to withstand the rigours of military tactical operations. Manufacturing technologies and materials have been optimised for a long structural fatigue life, certified for up to 30,000 flights or 64,000 flight hours. The CN235 is cleared for 3g tactical manoeuvres.
The CN235 avionics system supports present and future requirements to operate in both civil and military environments. The aircraft is equipped with five multifunctional displays, an integrated engine display system, an automatic flight control system, and a dual flight management system.
Compared to other tactical transport types, the CN235 has a simpler system architecture with fewer components, less weight, better reliability and lower support costs. The effectiveness and soundness of the CN235 general systems design is backed by one million flights of operational experience in all types of environments.